49th CMS E&E shop unveils innovative invention

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Isaiah Pedrazzini
  • 49th Wing Public Affairs
When an F-16 Viper takes to the sky, it's imperative to maintain constant, clear communication between the pilot and the ground crew to track and update their safety and the mission's success.

In a remarkable display of innovation, James Rundall, a technician from the 49th Component Maintenance Squadron electrical and environmental shop, unveiled an adaptation of a communications W cord.

The W cord is a three-way communications cable splitter that enhances direct communication between ground technicians and pilots.

“This setup is invaluable for both operational tasks and training exercises," said Rundall. "For the ground crew, you’ll have your qualified technician communicating with the pilot and then two trainees hooked up so they can have a clear understanding of what is expected during these operations.”

The new design significantly improved upon its predecessor, the Y cord, which only supported two users and was prone to frequent breakdowns.

"This device is essentially plug-and-play, making it straightforward for Airmen to use," said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Cody Carpenter, 49th CMS electrical environmental systems craftsman. “It will enhance communication during maintenance tasks and improve our operations' overall efficiency."

The device accelerates the training process by allowing more personnel to engage in real-time communication, ensuring that maintenance tasks are completed more efficiently and safely.

"When tasked with designing this device, I aimed to create something durable and user-friendly," said Rundall. "By also incorporating it into a pelican box, we ensured its longevity and ease of storage, reduced exposure to the elements and a lot less movable components and wiring.”

The commitment to innovation by Team Holloman Airmen is evident in this new device, which enhances current operations and sets a standard for future developments in military communication technology.

"Our goal is to continue improving training and communication," said Rundall. "This device is a step in the right direction, and I hope to see it adopted across other installations for the benefit of all personnel."