Climbing at Holloman

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. E'Lysia A. Wray
  • 49th WG/PA
It is said that 41% of Americans have a severe fear of heights knows as Aerophobia which among other things, can result in paralyzing panic attacks. If you are part of the 41%, the tower climbers at Holloman's 49th Communications Squadron have a way to help.

"The Tower Climbing Program is a mandatory course for those that climb towers in their career fields, but it is open to anyone interested in climbing," said Tech. Sgt. Tavaron Marshall, 49th Communications Squadron Radio Frequency Transmission Systems non-commissioned officer in charge.

This program is mandatory for both Airfield Management, which is responsible for flight line communications, and the 49th CS Operations Flight, which is responsible for microwave transmission systems, Land Mobile Radio, and tactical radio equipment.

"To become a trainer a person must attend an Air Force week long training course at Sheppard AFB. This course gives the appropriate information and training to return to station as a certified trainer for local training needs," explained Daniel McKee, Holloman's Installation Spectrum manager.

Once they pass the course, participants are qualified on all safety procedures, rescue protocol and proper climbing procedures for all tower heights.

Holloman airmen maintain several different tower heights for participants to choose from.

"We have five different towers ranging between 50 feet and 180 feet," said McKee. "The biggest thing is our 180 foot tower starts at 11,000 feet altitude when you start to climb."

Regardless of tower height, trainers brief each participant on all safety procedures to include proper inspection of the equipment and proper climbing techniques.

"Safety first," said McKee. "We show you the proper gear to use and the way to wear and operate with it on. Finally, we teach those that need to work with tools and equipment at heights hot to safely do it."

"The main thing is to use your legs when you're climbing because it is very exhausting. Essentially you are using your legs to push yourself up. You are using your arms and hands to maneuver, but your legs are doing most of the work. You want to use this method because you are not only pulling yourself up but for those that work on the towers will also have to carry equipment up the tower," stated Marshall.

"The Tower Climbing program is open to anyone willing to come out. We get everyone from commanders to Airmen 1st Class. All you have to do is give us a call and make an appointment," says Marshall.

If you are interested in climbing the towers here at Holloman please feel free to contact either Tech. Sgt. Travaron Marshall or Staff Sgt. Ivan Seppala at 572-3671.