By 19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
A 24 hour/seven days a week fitness center began at Little Rock Air Force Base’s fitness center Feb. 15. Sign-up for the program began Feb. 4.
The new modification to the program is part of a Little Rock AFB initiative to enhance the morale, welfare and recreation for Airmen on base. During several forums, individuals expressed interest in expanding the service beyond just military members. Now, in addition to military members with a common access card, dependents aged 18 and older and DoD civilians are currently able to participate in the fitness center’s 24 hour fitness program.
“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 and their dependents) the opportunity to work out a lot more than they might have.”
Participants will need to sign a statement of understanding, similar to the one the military members are required to sign. People that sign up will have their Common Access Cards or dependent ID cards registered so that their cards can be scanned at the front door to gain access to the fitness center. The fitness center is not 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 defibrillators and the emergency blue phones.
The majority of the facility is available during the unmanned time just like during the day, said Anteola. “Everything is 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 fitnesscenter program. We already have 1,318 Team Little Rock members signed up and have shown a 15 percent increase in usage during the unmanned time. Feedback should be via ICE (Interactive Customer Evaluation, http://www.rockinattherock.com/Fitness_Center.shtml) or directly to the fitness center staff at 987-7716.
“We are excited to hear about everyone’s feedback. It 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.