XLers fighting to be fit
By Senior Airman Scott Saldukas , 47th Flying Training Wing public affairs
/ Published August 16, 2011
LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Laughlin recently implemented a new physical conditioning program July 10 called XLers Fighting to be Fit for Airmen here who have failed or run the risk of failing their physical training test.
The program was envisioned by Chief Master Sgt. Raymond DeVite, 47th Flying Training Wing command chief, with the purpose of building a healthy force while enabling Airmen here to meet the wing's mission statement of deploying mission-ready Airmen.
"I started something like this at my last unit several years ago and it proved to be beneficial," DeVite said. "Although the program is designed to help physically condition the Airmen of Laughlin who have either a failed PT test or have the propensity to fail an upcoming test. Anyone who is interested in being pushed through a rigorous work-out is also welcome to attend."
The chief noted how the thorough new program is designed to help Airmen target the areas that the Air Force PT test encompasses.
"Doing an hour each morning on the elliptical machine may not help you become better at pushups or sit-ups or to decrease your run time for that matter, but training with the Fighting to be Fit program is focused on doing just that," DeVite said.
Master Sgt. Mary Ann Navarro-Davis, 47th Force Support Squadron Career Development Element superintendant, said the program is designed primarily to improve each participant's upper body, lower body, core strength and run time through a variety of high intensity interval cardio and strength training.
"When members walk away from our session with complaints of soreness and pain, we know they have taken a step towards improving their fitness and living healthier," she said. "We hope that once members pass their test that they would continue to live this lifestyle and be able to do it on their own and motivate others to do the same."
While the program was implemented to boost PT scores, it also reflects the support given from the enlisted leaders here.
"Supporting our Airmen where they need assistance is a senior NCO responsibility,"
DeVite said. "Quite often when one of our Airmen fails a PT test, we treat them like a leper instead of bringing them into the fold as part of our Air Force family. This is one of those times they could use us most."
He explained how he has seen many good Airmen be forced out of the Air Force because of the lack of commitment from them and their leadership on PT.
"I don't want to stand by idly and allow it to happen without trying to assist," DeVite said.
"The Airmen of Laughlin need to know that the senior NCO corps are leaders in action not only in name and are here to assist with any issue that confronts them. I don't want to lose another great Airman or see another EPR mark down on a superior job performer for something that we can control."