Thursday, January 24, 2013

TOP STORY>>Fitness Center is going 24/7

By Airman 1st Class Ethan Dunagan
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Little Rock Air Force Base’s fitness center has been selected to test a 24 hour/seven days a week program scheduled to start Feb. 15. Sign-up for the program will begin on Feb. 4.

The new program is part of a Force Support Squadron initiative to enhance the morale, welfare, and recreation for Airmen on base.

“This is all part of services’ transformation and we’re hoping to provide services beyond our man-power working capabilities,” said Lt. Col. Veronica Anteola, 19th FSS commander. “So by opening it 24/7… It gives [base Airmen] the opportunity to work out a lot more than they might have.”

Participants signing up for this program will need to sign a statement of understanding. Currently only military members with a common access card are able to participate in the fitness center’s 24-hour fitness program. Military members that sign up will have their CAC cards registered so that when the 24/7 operation goes live, their CAC can be scanned at the front door to gain access to the fitness center. The fitness center will not be staffed overnight so the base has taken extra measures to ensure the safety and security of participants.

“Security and safety are some of our main concerns with 24/7 fitness,” said Anteola. To increase security, the fitness center has installed 30 cameras in the facility as well as three automated external defibrillator’s and the emergency blue phones.

For some of the night shift workers on base, the overnight program is very beneficial.

“The fitness center going 24/7 benefits me by letting me go to the gym before or after work, it will be very convenient,” said Airman 1st Class Beth Anne Davis, a 19th Logistics Readiness Squadron central storage journeyman. Davis works overnight.

The services provided overnight will be the same as during the day, said Anteola.

“Everything will be open except for our offices, our locker rooms, and our saunas,” she said. “We want to make sure those areas that we can’t get the cameras in are locked and secure. Bathrooms will be open, but for the most part everything else will be available to them.”

This base is a test base for the 24/7 fitness center program. Feedback should be directed to ICE or the fitness center.

“We are excited to hear about everyone’s feedback. I think that this is a critical part of this test phase to see if it’s something the rest of the Air Force plans on doing,” said Anteola.

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