Linemen Train on Grove of Junior Phone Poles (Feb, 1951)

Linemen Train on Grove of Junior Phone Poles
This is how you learn to climb poles in the Air Force. The grove of stub poles makes an open-air classroom for future linemen at Warren Air Base in Wyoming. The poles last about a month—by then the students’ spikes gouge them so badly they must be replaced.

  1. John M. Hanna says: September 20, 20082:58 pm

    And…let the male enhancement jokes begin!

  2. Charlene says: September 21, 20087:25 am

    Does the air force have a lot of telephone lines to fix?

  3. JMyint says: September 21, 20081:33 pm

    Each branch of the service was at one time responsible for all the maintainence at there bases. The US Air Force currently has 330,000 personel at 68 bases in the US and 17 overseas. So yeah, I would say they had a lot of telephone, power, and other communication lines to maintain.

  4. Charlene says: September 22, 20084:59 am


    Phone lines on Canadian Forces bases belong to the local phone company. Why would they so egregiously and shamelessly waste money and manpower doing when experts can do better for less?

  5. Charlene says: September 22, 20084:59 am

    Or doing “what” experts can do better for less. I hate not being able to edit posts.

  6. Mike says: September 22, 20086:14 am

    Charlene, I guess Americans think more highly of their military. The photo is from 1951, but don’t forget it is a security issue, the military also needs to build out power/communications at various temporary instillations where ever they go.

  7. Steve says: September 22, 20089:17 am

    Huh, are you sure that’s not some Al Queiada training camp? 😉

  8. Toronto says: September 22, 20087:06 pm

    Mike – no, we think highly of our military here in Canada, but we’ve gone to civilian contractors for a lot of the more mundane tasks (and some technical ones, that I don’t agree with) over the years. It started with things like the base maintenance pools – who joins the air force to paint buildings, after all? I also remember living on bases with military telephone systems AND Bell systems intermixed, depending on their use and security requirements.

    Sadly, now the CAF has subcontracted out things like aircraft maintenance. Then again, I could point to major Canadian (and American) private companies that have “outsourced” things like computer networks that are core to their business, too.

    And then there’s Haliberton and Blackwater and their ilk.

    It’s not 1951 anymore.

  9. Wally says: January 22, 200910:00 pm

    John Hanna (First comment)… were you ever at RAF Bentwaters? As far as the “linemen”…
    this is really pilot training. Their first expierience getting off the ground. Sorry so late…
    I just saw this.

  10. Tim Johnson says: January 9, 20101:08 pm

    To all: Having served in both the US Army and Air force in the electronics maintenance field. Over the past 50 or so years much of the services which should be provided by the military personnel have been outsourced to civilian contractors. No one seems to consider that when the military moves out to do the job they joined for, the outsourcing stays at their home base. There is no one trained to do the work in the combat zones. Another political policy of not thinking beyond the payoly point (you don’t really thing civilians can do the work better and cheaper than the military personnel, do you?).

  11. tim says: April 25, 20107:55 pm

    To the all knowing (and the obvious unknowing), I am a CF Lineman, have been for 18 years and served across this country from coast to coast to coast and around the world on 4 different occasions ranging from 5 to 11 month deployments. Fist myth to be squashes after reading above…..All telephony and data circuits located within a CF base are DND owned and maintained be CF Linemen. Second one is that we are in fact highly regarded within the army and on civilian street for our commitment, professionalism and competencies. Where the local telco companies employ specialty workers as either splicers, maintainers, installers or technicians, a CF Lineman has to know all these jobs as well build the pole routes, bury the cable, build and maintain towers and antenna structures, regardless of the threat levels or season, weather or terrain. Anyone care to respond may do so…but please make sure you do your homework first.

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