SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
With 300 days of sunshine in Colorado Springs, it’s no wonder Airmen look for any excuse they can to get outside.
Seth Cannello, fitness center director with the 50th Force Support Squadron, explained the Single Airman Initiative program was designed to offer Airmen opportunities to attend day trips, usually outside, to experience things they may not otherwise do on their own.
The program is in its seventh year at Schriever Air Force Base, after Cannello began it in 2012.
“We are extremely lucky to live in a state that has so many different and unique outdoor opportunities,” he said.
The SAI program offerings are typically free and both enlisted and officer ranks are invited to take-part.
“I try to offer activities most Airmen might not be able to afford on their own, or activities that they may not even think about participating in,” Cannello said. “We recently conducted a hot air balloon ride, a tandem skydiving trip and a turkey hunt.”
Senior Airman Michael Gibson, readiness and plans journeyman for the 50th FSS, has been on various SAI trips, including skydiving, fishing and paragliding, and praised Cannello’s effort to encourage Airmen to attend.
“Seth is really good at asking people he meets in person if they want to go,” he added.
While Gibson has been on a variety of SAI program trips, his favorite has been skydiving.
“It was the first trip I got to go on,” he said. “What can be more fun than taking the express way off a plane? It is absolutely exhilarating, plus, you get to see some very nice views of Colorado from up there.
“Of course, whatever the planned activity is, it’s fun,” he continued. “But doing said activity with friends and making new ones, that's just spectacular.”
Cannello said he knows the trip planning is worth it because he gets to see the Airmen’s satisfaction after finishing a trip.
“It's fun to watch Airmen interact with each other on the way home from a trip or at an event,” he said. “They talk about their adventure, excitement and gratitude. This makes the effort I put into scheduling a trip worthwhile.”
Gibson extended his gratitude towards Cannello for organizing the trips and giving Airmen the opportunity to try new things.
“I want to thank Seth for putting on these events,” Gibson said. “I know it is a lot of extra work for him to do these events, and I appreciate him.”
Cannello stressed the importance for Airmen to take advantage of these free trips because of the experiences.
“Getting outside and experiencing nature is very important and I think after a positive experience, Airmen better appreciate being in the Air Force and the opportunities that are provided to them,” he said.
Gibson added it’s important for Schriever AFB to have these trips and for Airmen to take advantage of them because everyone needs a break from work.
“Get out and have some fun,” he said. “There are a lot of things to see and do.”
For more information about the SAI program, or to suggest a new SAI trip, contact the fitness center at 567-6628.