Andrews officials launch tactical fitness center

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jennifer Redente
  • 316th Wing Public Affairs
Base leaders here took a groundbreaking new stride in combat fitness training capability Jan. 15 with the ribbon-cutting of the Andrews Tactical Fitness Center. 

The center supports the 316th Wing's goal of "Airmen fit and ready to fight and win across the whole spectrum" with a new policy and capability that will complement current Air Force physical fitness training policy. 

The TFC brings a flexible, intense, team-based capability to the Air Force's most important weapon system, its Airmen, tailored to enhance current fitness levels and tackle the realities of current combat operations, officials said.

"We are adapting our Air Force 'Fit to Fight' vector to the conditions that our Airmen must master in this current war," said Col. Steven M. Shepro, 316th Wing commander. "It is a non-linear war in which aircrew, engineers, security forces members, convoy drivers and our other personnel put their lives on the frontlines daily in extreme heat and cold, wearing 40 pounds of protective gear, for more than 12 hours a day, and must be continually at their mental and physical best to win. 

"This program builds the core strength and endurance that are fundamental to a superior level of combat fitness, both as individuals and teams," the colonel said. "It has only one standard, that crosses all of our other missions: everyone gives their best."

The tactical fitness center project arose five months ago from inauspicious beginnings, after the multi-purpose room of one of the base's fitness centers was lost due to an electrical fire. 

The seldom-used indoor tennis courts at the center were renovated to meet the greater demand for combat fitness training, and the re-make of the area brought in new flooring, a heating and cooling unit, new trainers and a variety of workout stations modeled after several higher-intensity programs such as the well-known CrossFit.

"CrossFit is the principal strength and conditioning program for many physically demanding career fields, both in the military and civilian work force," said Anthony J. Alcala, 316th Force Support Squadron fitness and sports complex director. "The program offers a well-rounded workout." 

Workouts are designed to increase strength, endurance and flexibility through a variety of exercises that increase in length and intensity.

"Improvements to the (center) offer customers the opportunity to enjoy new equipment and techniques as they maintain their physical fitness," said Col. Stewart S. Price, 316th Mission Support Group commander. "It's another example of how Andrews (base personnel) support the chief of staff of the Air Force's initiative to maintain a fit Air Force."

"Completion of the tactical fitness project was a top priority for both the installation commander and the FSS," said Lt. Col. Teresa L. Forest, 316th FSS commander. "We felt it would be an excellent addition to our fitness program and would enhance the overall fitness level of the Andrews community. The FSS prides itself on delivering state-of-the-art, fresh programming, and we're excited to bring new capabilities to Andrews."

Tactical fitness classes will be available eight times per week and will be taught by a contract instructor. When classes are not in session, units and individuals can use the tactical fitness center for prescribed team workouts or follow one of several video fitness programs. The tactical fitness center includes a 52" flat screen television and is large enough to accommodate entire units.

"Our goals for Andrews this year are targeting mission pride, mutual support, and taking care of our most important asset, our Airmen." said Colonel Shepro, "Many thanks to the force support squadron, contracting, civil engineering and all the others who came together to help ensure that we are fit and ready to fight and win in any place, at any time!"

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