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Schriever single Airmen burn rubber

Airman Zakery Rollins, 50th Space Communications Squadron, dons a racing helmet during the Richard Petty Driving Experience at the Pikes Peak International Raceway in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Friday, April 15, 2016, as a part of the Single Airman Initiative. The event allowed Schriever single Airmen to ride with a professional driver in a NASCAR race car at speeds of more than 165 mph. (Courtesy photo/Seth Cannello)

Airman Zakery Rollins, 50th Space Communications Squadron, dons a racing helmet during the Richard Petty Driving Experience at the Pikes Peak International Raceway in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Friday, April 15, 2016, as a part of the Single Airman Initiative. The event allowed Schriever single Airmen to ride with a professional driver in a NASCAR race car at speeds of more than 165 mph. (Courtesy photo/Seth Cannello)

Airman 1st Class Aleesha Regino, 50th Force Support Squadron, prepares to enter a NASCAR race car during the Richard Petty Driving Experience at the Pikes Peak International Raceway in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Friday, April 15, 2016, as a part of the Single Airman Initiative. Regino was one of 10 Schriever single Airmen who rode shotgun in an official NASCAR race car with a professional driver and took three high-speed laps around the track. (Courtesy photo/Seth Cannello)

Airman 1st Class Aleesha Regino, 50th Force Support Squadron, prepares to enter a NASCAR race car during the Richard Petty Driving Experience at the Pikes Peak International Raceway in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Friday, April 15, 2016, as a part of the Single Airman Initiative. Regino was one of 10 Schriever single Airmen who rode shotgun in an official NASCAR race car with a professional driver and took three high-speed laps around the track. (Courtesy photo/Seth Cannello)

Schriever Air Force Base single Airmen gather before the Richard Petty Driving Experience at the Pikes Peak International Raceway in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Friday, April 15, 2016, as a part of the Single Airman Initiative. The program is designed to offer single Airmen an opportunity to participate in free recreational trips and activities. (Courtesy photo/Seth Cannello)

Schriever Air Force Base single Airmen gather before the Richard Petty Driving Experience at the Pikes Peak International Raceway in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Friday, April 15, 2016, as a part of the Single Airman Initiative. The program is designed to offer single Airmen an opportunity to participate in free recreational trips and activities. (Courtesy photo/Seth Cannello)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Ten Schriever Air Force Base single Airmen went about 165 mph on the road Friday - but supervisors need not worry, it was perfectly legal.

The Airmen participated in the Richard Petty Driving Experience at Pikes Peak International Raceway in Colorado Springs, Colorado, as part of the Single Airman Initiative.

The Air Force-wide program provides single and unaccompanied Airmen opportunities to take part in recreational trips and activities at no cost.

On Friday, each participant rode shotgun in an official NASCAR race car with a professional driver and took three high-speed laps around the track.

Second Lt. Walker Fickling, 50th Force Support Squadron resource advisor, described the ride as exhilarating.

"It was so much fun, and such a unique experience. It's not every day that you get to do something like this, especially free of cost. Overall, it was a very exciting experience," said Fickling.

Fickling explained to fully experience of the car's speed and power, you have to strap in.

"(The driver) just peeled out of there and it felt so much faster than it looked when you watched other people go," said Fickling. "You were just stuck to the back of your seat, I mean it was kind of hard to catch your breath at first."

Seth Cannello, Fitness and Sports manager, leads and organizes SAI events for the installation.

"I think the whole idea behind the Single Airman Initiative program is to build resiliency and get Airmen out doing recreational-type activities. So I know that they all enjoyed it. They were all smiles after the event and talking about it on the way home amongst themselves. It kind of built some camaraderie and that's always fun to see," Cannello explained.

Fickling had high praise for the event and SAI in general. Along with getting to engage in high octane endeavors, he also got to meet fellow Airmen.

"If anyone at Schriever gets the opportunity, they really should do an event like this. It's such a great opportunity to meet people from Schriever. I met a few Airmen who were pretty cool and it's just such a unique opportunity that you have here at Schriever to do something like this that you might not get to do in the outside world," Fickling shared.

SAI trip suggestions are highly encouraged. Ideally, the trips are tailored to what the Airmen want to do. If the event is exciting, engaging and overall something one would want to cross off their bucket list, Cannello is all ears. Attending music concerts and sporting events do not qualify.
   
Some upcoming SAI trips include outdoor laser tag May 20, golf outings June 8 and July 2, paragliding July 23 and a potential hot air balloon ride between May and June.

"We've never been paragliding before, that filled up extremely fast," said Cannello. "I'm trying to add a second trip to take some of the people on the waiting list. If that works out well, we'll probably add that to the list of events we take people on yearly." 

To suggest future trips, find more details or sign up for the Single Airman Initiative, contact Cannello at 567-6658.
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