SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
The 50th Space Wing Chaplain’s office hosted their annual night operations resiliency picnic at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, June 26.
The picnic is a way for the chaplain corps to give thanks to night shift workers who work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to keep the 50th SW mission of evolving space and cyberspace warfighting superiority through integrated and innovative operations, relevant and attainable.
“This event gives us an opportunity to tell our operators thank you for a job well done by giving them some time to come down and eat some good food,” said Capt. Lauren Hughes, 50th SW chaplain. “It’s something that people really look forward to experiencing - - we do that for each group every year during the summer time, our night operators and defenders love it.”
“I (used to be) a crew member doing 24/7 operations for two years,” said 2nd Lt. David Williford, 4th Space Operations Squadron resource advisor. “That’s why I volunteered for this tonight because I know what it’s like to be on the operations floor at 3 a.m. when things are dull or crazy. Having a nice meal and some time to take a break is honestly really great and it helps keep morale up.”
This is the ninth chaplain’s resiliency BBQ for which Williford has volunteered.
“I love grilling so I figured I could give my talents to a good cause and make a good meal for these crew members,’’ Williford said.
The “price to pay” to enjoy a plate is answer the chaplain’s office question.
“For this picnic we are asking them for things they are grateful and thankful for and have a dialogue, it will be interesting to hear and to see what some of our Airman say, at least what’s on their minds today,” said Maj. Martin Adamson, 50th SW chaplain.
For Master Sgt. Carl White, 22nd Space Operations Squadron superintendent, these events help night operators connect with other Airmen who they may never see due to the varying schedules.
“When you’re on crew shift it’s very easy to be disconnected from the base population and from the rest of the world because you are working a different schedule than everybody else,” he said. “Days become weeks, weeks become months and you kind of get lost and suddenly you become an island unto yourself.”
White recognized sometimes taking time away from daily duties is necessary to experience that sense of belonging that makes a team more connected.
“Just like anybody else, you have problems, whether they’re family problems, financial problems or work problems, and because you are an island to yourself it becomes very easy to get into the sense that you are all alone, that no one is else going to help you or that you can’t reach out for a hand to help,” White said. “Events like this help people realize that they can stop for a second, take time out and recalibrate.”
The next chaplain’s office hosted picnic is scheduled for July 18 and will benefit Wing Staff Agency, 50th Comptroller Squadron and 21st Medical Squadron personnel.
For further information about upcoming chaplain’s office events, call 567-3705.