PETERSON AFB, Colo. -- Soldiers from the 1st Space Brigade took time off from their important space mission to participate in a U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command Safety Expo conducted at Peterson's Eagle Park on Sept. 22.

The purpose was to conduct a semi-annual safety stand down day ensuring Soldiers understand the importance of safety and the measures they can take to prevent unnecessary accidents both on and off duty.

"An informed Soldier will know how to minimize risk and how to help keep other Soldiers of the 1st Space Brigade safe," said Sgt. 1st Class Joshua Ellis, training/schools, S3 section, 1st Space Brigade.

The outdoor expo offered a total of 14 vendors from, not only Peterson, but Fort Carson and the surround Colorado Springs area. Soldiers and SMDC/ARSTRAT civilians were able to go from station to station receiving instruction and in some case having hands-on experience in various areas from fire safety to winter readiness.

A few of the areas of instruction included: food and hearing safety, PAFB Public Health; winter recreation sports, PAFB Outdoor Recreation; winter driving, Colorado Springs Police Department; chain saw safety, Home Depot; cardiopulmonary resuscitation and automated external defibrillator, Pikes Peak Community College; and motorcycle safety, Wheels in Motion Inc.

Participants got to sample winter survival food, experience using a chemical fire extinguisher and feel the impact of coming to a sudden stop in the 'Seat Belt Convincer.'

According to Ellis preparation for this semi-annual safety day stand down started to take place at the end of July.

"We decided to do something different this year because the standard Power Point brief is boring and has little interest and doesn't really get the point across normally. People lose interest really quick," Ellis said. "The feedback from the vendors and the Soldiers has been very positive, especially the Soldiers. They actually found it very informative and they enjoyed because it was actually different and they got to interact."

The Soldiers appreciated the change.

"Way better than the old Power Point slide presentation," said Staff Sgt. Maricris Remigio, 1st Space Battalion. "There was good interaction between our various units within the brigade."

From Sgt. Jarod Ruff, 1st Space Bn., the reaction was the same, "I liked how they had the actual subject matter experts instead of having one of us go online and do the research."

According to Ellis it was a win for the vendors aw well because it gave them an opportunity to work with the Soldiers.

"They provided Soldiers with resources they did not know about before," Ellis said.

Ellis said he hopes the next one to be similar to this one with more interaction between Soldiers and vendors in the form of hands-on with equipment.

Although the expo was an SMDC/ARSTRAT event, the true foundations for the success of the day belong to the brigade.

According to Ellis, Spc. Nichole Caduff, an operations specialist in the brigade's S3 shop, was the lynch pin for the day's event.

"She is reservist who came here for her second AT and we placed her in charge of coordinating the initial event," said Ellis. "Caduff did a great job doing face-to-face with everybody including all the vendors, even on the morning of the event."

Capt. Jonathan Gendron, the brigade's S-6 summed it up by saying, "This is one of the best safety day's I've ever seen!"