Jane Cole, President of Radome Services LLC based at 33 Elm Street in Merrimack, NH worked for 26 years in both radome installations and sales at a leading U.S. radome manufacturer. In 2010 Jane and her partners created Radome Services LLC, a woman-owned small business to service all types of radomes in the U.S. and abroad. You may have seen radomes when watching your local weather on TV or at many airports around the world. There are thousands of radomes made by numerous radome suppliers. Radome Services works with a large customer base including U.S. Government, Commercial and International users to install, dismantle, inspect, repair or maintain radomes and antennas. From dismantle and installation to routine maintenance and turnkey project management, Radome Services provides fully integrated radome services. Radome Services LLC became self-certified as an Economically Disadvantaged Woman Owned Small Business in 2011 and employs field service workers based across the country. Radome Services currently has 15 employees and works with many subcontractors around the world.
What kind of skills are required to be a Radome Services LLC field service worker?
Radome Services LLC field service supervisors have an average of over 20+ years’ experience working on different manufacturers’ radomes in extreme climates on foundations ranging from a slab on the ground to 300-ft towers. In addition to basic construction skills, working above ground on scaffolding or from manlifts, they must be able to climb safely on radomes using rope access techniques, whether they are assembling panels, installing hardware, painting, or sealing radome seams. Familiarity with equipment such as aerial work platforms, forklifts, cranes and other heavy equipment is required. Field Service personnel must be willing to travel to the most remote locations and extreme climates in the world, work under adverse weather conditions and time pressures, and be ready to remain on the job until the radome work is complete. Our crews are trained in all current health and safety regulations and have all required certifications including equipment operation and rope access. Training in safe work practices is an on-going process for our employees.
A critical aspect in selecting your radome installation team is that they represent a significant part of your company’s interface with your customer. Often, end-users ask for our field supervisors by name and are confident that they will receive courteous, professional service combined with safe, successful and timely project completion.
As a field service provider, we are extremely proud of the caliber of our employees and have recently started a web page devoted to sharing our unique worker’s experiences. We now have several employees who are SPRAT certified (Society of Professional Rope Access Technicians) achieving Level I, Level II and Level III certifications.
Those of us who keep our feet on the ground can only marvel at a person like Scott DeCapio who considers hanging off the side of a radome (or mountain) just another great day outdoors! Let's face it, people who regularly travel the globe, climb up and down radomes, antennas and towers in some of the most dramatic and remote locations in the world, must be looking at life in a very different way. Scott DeCapio is just that kind of guy. If he's not working for Radome Services LLC, you will find him getting ready to go to, or just returning from, some type of climbing adventure. In his 20's, he was sponsored by Black Diamond and Patagonia as an alpinist and an ice climber. He received many grants such as the Lyman Spitzer award, the Mugs Stump award, and the Polartec Grant for expeditions to the Himalayas, the Tien Shan Mountains, and the Alaska range. Notable achievements include numerous technical first ascents at altitude in Kyrgyzstan; the first one-day ascent of Mt. Huntington in Alaska; and multiple ascents of El Cap (El Capitan, a 3000-ft wall in Yosemite National Park, California) including an on-site one-day ascent of the Nose. He still maintains a high level of fitness and technical skills while continuing to climb 5.13 on rock and M9 mixed routes.
So how did this fascinating character come to work at Radome Services LLC?
Scott was born in Oregon but shortly thereafter his family (Scott, his younger brother and his parents) moved to the East coast. From ages 6 to age 18, he lived in the central Massachusetts town of Boylston, near Worcester. Scott was your all around high school athlete: he ran cross-country, was a starting pitcher for the high school baseball team, developed his BMX bike skills, and spent a lot of time hiking and camping in the hills throughout New England.
He graduated cum laude with a BS in Biology, and an emphasis in Ecology from Johnson State College in Vermont. Four years of college in Vermont is when he really became passionate about climbing. Scott learned how to integrate his thirst for knowledge with his love of the out of doors.
In his own words, completing college led to a shift to a more non-traditional lifestyle:
By graduation, I had lost my drive to become a biologist, and all I wanted to do was travel and climb as much as possible. I stumbled into the radome work through a climbing partner I met in New Hampshire. The radome work fit my climber skill-set and my desire to travel very well. The intermittent work schedule allowed me time to plan climbing expeditions to Alaska, the Canadian Rockies, the French Alps, and the Himalayas.
I was actually homeless by choice and lived in my car (a two door VW Fox) for five years while traveling, climbing, and taking the occasional radome field service job. I was passing through Colorado when I met my future wife, Leah, and finally settled down. She has a degree in studio arts with an emphasis in ceramics. I traded climbing lessons with her college friends for lessons at the pottery wheel, and slowly learned to help her with her ceramics business.
Now that I'm older and married, I think I'm slowing down on the high-risk climbing in the big mountains. These days, I'm focused on technical rock climbing which is actually much safer. Right now I'm doing specific finger strength training to really push the limits of difficulty and climb the steepest walls I can find in the Colorado Rockies. Still, I hope to fit in one more exotic climbing trip — maybe to Patagonia (southern tip of S. America) in 2013.
So, what does Scott see for his future working life? Again, in his own words:
I hope I never have to be a 9 to 5 guy. I've lived the good life for so long now, I don't think I would know how to handle a regular job. I think I need more variety than most. That's what is great about radome work - you're always someplace new, constantly adapting to new cultures, climates, and work circumstances that keep the job interesting.
Herb George is another of RSLLC's Field Service Supervisors who has a wealth of experience under his climbing belt. Herb began working in the radome industry back in 1980 (!) and joined the Radome Services team in 2010.
In his 34 years in this industry, Herb has done more than his fair share of travelling. He's been to all seven continents and counts something on the order of 32 countries that he's been to over the years. While he doesn't have any distinct favorites, Norway, New Zealand and Italy ranked pretty highly for him.
When he's not getting his passport stamped again, Herb lives in the mountains where he snowboards, fishes and climbs.
Herb loves the flexibility of working in the radome industry. It's not a 9-5 job in a cube farm, that's for sure! He enjoys the time between jobs to do the things he loves – spending every day on the river in the summer and on the slopes in the winter.
Even after 34 years, Herb still loves the travel and he likes the challenge of building radomes on mountain tops. You've got to be creative when there isn't a Home Depot down the street! He likes to solve problems in the old school way – logically and mathematically, and not just with an internet search, although he is quick to tell our Operations Manager how to use her iPhone properly. That kind of thinking is what makes Herb the valuable asset that he is to our team.
Mike O'Connell is a native New Englander who has called Massachusetts, Rhode Island and now New Hampshire home. Married with two sons and two step sons, Oaky, as he is widely known, practically grew up working in the radome industry. In 1984, he heard through a friend of a small radome manufacturer that was looking for a team of people for some temporary work at a site in England. Oaky applied and got the job, went off to England, and has been climbing radomes ever since. He began as a ground worker and worked his way over the years into his current position as an experienced and respected Supervisor. In 2010, he joined Radome Services LLC as one of its core team members.
In the course of his 30 years of experience, Oaky has been to almost every continent on the globe and has made a remarkable FOUR trips to The Ice (Antarctica). Of the many countries he has visited New Zealand ranks highest – for its great trout fishing.
When he is not hanging off a radome, Oaky is an avid golfer! His best round to date is a 76. He also rides a great looking Harley –an Ultra Classic Electra Glide - and loves the New England sports scene.
When asked what he likes most about his job, Oaky says very simply, I like the people and the challenges of the job. And I like the travel.
Oaky's passport is full of stamps from six of the seven continents – the only one missing? Africa. He'd like to get there someday and make that claim of seven for seven! And the other country he'd like to visit?
I'd like to go to Italy. For the food…
The radome industry certainly got lucky in the early 1980's because it attracted some really talented people. That's when Scott joined this small industry that most of us have to explain at dinner parties by referring to the Epcot dome. Scott's first foray into the world of Field Services was Thule, Greenland in 1981. The beauty and vastness of that place struck a chord and he's never looked back.
In 2010, Scott joined Radome Services as a core member who likes a way of doing things that had seemingly gone out of style – a way that includes putting the customer first and doing whatever it takes to get the job done right. As our Field Operations Manager, Scott is a well-respected leader in our organization and always looking for better ways to provide the best service possible for our customers.
We are an Economically Disadvantaged Woman-Owned Small Business
An EDWOSB is a small business concern that is at least 51 percent directly and unconditionally owned and controlled by one or more women who are citizens (born or naturalized) of the United States and who are economically disadvantaged.