8238Re: Dahlgren VA
- Dec 14, 2004Hello,
I was recently in this area looking for what thought would be the
location of a Level 3 ILA (optical amplifier). I did not find it but
I do have some observations that I figured would be worth adding to
this discussion in the archives.
--- In email@example.com, "Rick C." <rickchem@h...> wrote:
> The discussion of a fiber spur on the Wash-Balt-Philly line to the
> NSA/BWI jogged my mind on something I noticed at Dahlgren.
> Though "older" maps show only MW links to the NSWC, Naval Space
I never noticed this before but apon inspection of the Oak Grove
microwave site there is a permanent mount for a microwave drum that
could be aimed towards NWSC.
> Command center located there, I recently noticed two newer (large
> plastic as opposed to wooden pole) AT&T route markers just a few
> feet from the side of US 301, which runs adjacent to the base
> perimeter, just as one makes landfall from the Potomac river bridge
Correct, but there are three plastic markers and a fourth
facility/ROW arrow style marker in sad shape. The main cable makes
landfall at the beach, runs to the parking lot of the "park" and then
the spur veers off towards the base (like a very tiny L). There are
no markers on the opposite side of Rt. 301 other than the much older,
tall orange plastic facility/ROW marker (the metal arrow part now
hangs loose and upside down).
However the poster might have missed a key to the puzzle. There is a
medium sized optical amplifier facility next to the parking lot.
Interestingly one third of the structure is made from an existing
repeater hut that has been incorporated into the expansion. The
facility is also one of the few I have seen to have a fixed generator
> into Va. The "main" AT&T RoW lies a few hundred feet from the road
> and is visible from that location, with its own markers - so either
> a spur likely goes to the base or there is a few hundred foot spur
> to the road. I did not observe any markers through the base fence,
> however. Surprisingly, there is a large amount of fiber in that
> specific area - at least three distinct entities, as judged by the
> different markers - AT&T and two others. The other two possibly
> terminate in
This is correct. The original fiber/main run is marked using pressure
treated wooden poles (big, thick monsters) with numerous markings and
warnings. The stuff heading towards NWSC is a spur off of the main
route, the main route does not bow into the base and back out. The
spur markers are not marked.
The other two are Level 3 Communications and CONTEL (GTE now Verizon).
Only the AT&T cable spurs off. CONTEL ends at that point (I suspect
since the other side of the Potomac River is all C&P/Bell) and Level
3 powers on towards DC. I suspect AT&T continues to the Waldorf
> the same area, near the waters edge - I saw no corresponding
> markers on the Maryland side. I recall some time ago the posting
At the beach a couple of feet in front of the amplifier facility
mentioned earlier, is a large billboard with an AT&T death star logo
warning boaters of a cable crossing. A similar sign is on the
Maryland side. These signs are in much better condition and much more
specifically marked than corresponding signs at the cable crossing
between Perryville and Havre De Grace in Maryland.
> that a few decades ago, the ratio of commercial/government lines to
> private lines in that county were the highest in the nation. For
> whatever reason that was, perhaps the need for many lines still
This explains the massive size of the Dahlgren central office. It
seems to be composed of a smaller cinderblock office that was greatly
expanded in size in the 1960s (tasteful expansion).
Parris B. Wood
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