COLORADO SPRINGS - After one year of training, on-the-job training and refresher courses every month, young airmen and women are ready to help the daily lives of nearly 3.2 billion people.
"I can't explain it really," Stefan Yarick, satellite system operator for GPS, said. "It's an amazing feeling knowing that what we're doing here is affecting people all over the world and saving lives of our troops down range."
Airman Yarick and his team at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado Springs control all 35 GPS satellites in orbit now. They are able to receive a signal that is accurate within less than 3 meters of any kind of device you are using.
"It's also used for the nation's infrastructure - ATMs use it, the time stamps on that, Wall Street uses it for the transactions, it's used everywhere," Yarick said.
In Colorado, they control more satellites than anywhere else in the world. They have been in operation for more than 30 years.
"It's been an amazing journey for GPS, through multiple blocks of satellites, ending up today where we have the most accurate GPS signal that we've ever had," Lt. Col. Tom Ste. Marie, commander of 2nd Space Operations Squadron, said.
It's only going to get stronger. A new satellite is set to launch on May 15.
"GPS is only going to get more and more accurate from year to year," Ste. Marie said. "As we launch newer satellites that have more power, more computing power, more signal power as well, you'll be able to drive that accuracy down."
(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)