By 1st Lt. Regan De La Cruz
2nd Space Operations Squadron
Some may think a gloomy Saturday, intermittent with snowfall, is a good excuse to sleep in, cuddle in the warmth of your bed and enjoy a hot cup of cocoa. However, for 18 members of Schriever’s 2nd Space Operations Squadron, a cold Saturday can only mean one thing: Highway 94 beautification.
On April 23, 2 SOPS endured constant winds, snow and freezing temperatures to clean a two-mile stretch of Highway 94 between Curtis and Enoch Roads. In support of the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Adopt a Highway Program, 2 SOPS has made a commitment to give back to the community and clean their “adopted” highway between mile markers eight and nine throughout the year.
Armed with orange vests, gloves and matching orange trash bags, 2 SOPS attacked its task and filled more than 20 bags, stuffed with 500 gallons of trash. Plowing through dry weeds and rough winds did not stop 2 SOPS from leaving any stone unturned. From cigarette butts to plastic bags tangled on barbed wire fences, all forms of trash were fair game. All that was left on the battlefield was a road lined with bags full of trash and a victory won not only for 2 SOPS, but for the environment as well.
The timing couldn’t have been better for a highway cleanup since Earth Day was the day before. “After using the 50th Space Wing approved containers on Earth Day, I was excited to extend the green effort by picking up trash on the highway. Surprisingly, I had more fun than I thought because it was a good opportunity to bond with the squadron even though it was snowing,” Senior Airman Tracie Schumacher, 2 SOPS Global Positioning System spacecraft specialist, said.
The 2nd Space Operations Squadron balances community service with maintaining more than 400 satellite contacts a week with the largest military-satellite constellation in the world. This is true, especially in the midst of satellite compatibility testing, a $5.8M software load, orbit repositioning and a launch scheduled in July. However, any opportunity to enjoy the company of squadron teammates off-duty is welcomed. For Airmen such as Senior Airman Franklen Ancheta, 2 SOPS Weapons and Tactics instructor, the opportunity to spend time with friends and help the community was, “Super fun.”