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Six installations will implement 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week fitness center access this and next month as part of an Air Force Services Transformation Initiative test concept.
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AF tests 24/7 fitness centers

Posted 12/18/2012   Updated 12/18/2012 Email story   Print story


by Debbie Gildea
Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs

12/18/2012 - JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas -- Six installations will implement 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week fitness center access this and next month as part of an Air Force Services Transformation Initiative test concept, Air Force Personnel Center officials announced today.

The Office of the Secretary of Defense Military Communities and Family Policy director and Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Manpower and Reserve Affairs approved the Services Transformation initiative to test unsupervised fitness and sports center after-hours use.

Test installations include Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash., Scott AFB, Ill., F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo., Tinker AFB, Okla., Little Rock AFB, Ark., and Joint Base Andrews, Washington D.C., said Capt. Matthew Dunn, AFPC Services Transformation deputy chief.

The after-hours fitness center test is one of several initiatives underway, or on the horizon, intended to transform how the Air Force provides morale, welfare and recreation programs and services, said Ms. Margaret Treland, Air Force fitness and sports chief.

Services acquired an entry access and surveillance system that was installed at Fairchild and Scott the second week of December. F.E. Warren began installation Dec. 12, and Tinker and Joint Base Andrews will begin Dec. 17. Little Rock installation is slated to begin Jan. 13, Dunn said. Equipment installation takes 7-14 days, and all test installations are expected to be up and running by the end of January.

"Test guidelines are clear and focused on Airman security and safety," said Dunn. "Facilities must have controlled access, security monitors and emergency capabilities and equipment, including defibrillators, first aid kits, phones with emergency number lists, and clear procedures for fire department access."

In addition, test installation commanders must conduct and document operational risk management assessments, develop applicable wingman policy, and post written standards for unsupervised use of the facility. This guidance will help ensure Airmen who use the facility after hours understand safety requirements, and address facility security, Dunn explained.

One of several Services Transformation Initiative programs, the initiative has great potential to better serve Airmen, he said. Testing will provide more information, though.

"Fitness centers are critical to Airman fitness and resiliency, but most centers have fixed hours, unlike the Air Force which has a 24/7 mission," Dunn said. "Airmen who work unusual hours may not be able to get to the fitness center during routine operating hours."

While 24-hour fitness center access may be an obvious answer, manpower authorizations and budget restrictions prevent round-the-clock manning, he explained.

"Unmanned fitness centers are not uncommon outside the gates, so test results from the participating installations will help us determine if the practice will work for Air Force fitness centers, as well."

Test installations will monitor and collect information on use, utility cost increases, damage to the facility or equipment, and injuries or incidents, to determine viability to further expand this program across the Air Force.

Visit or for more information about this and other quality of life programs. For information about Air Force personnel issues, visit the myPers website at

5/5/2014 3:19:47 PM ET
I apologize if someone has already mentioned this in the comments but why are we contracting out this support to like Lifetime Fitness or some other national chain The facilityequipment would be mantained better. Most of the airman in San Antonio already pay for a gym membership outside of base. I'd even venture to say the Government could subsidize most of the membership leaving everyone to pay a small membership fee. It would be worth it
James, JBSA
5/20/2013 4:53:05 PM ET
Do they have the results of this study yet A follow up story would be nice especially with the current budget situations.
JW, Schriever AFB CO
4/11/2013 2:19:33 PM ET
I attempted to comment on this story but get an error message telling me to not include HTML code in my comment. Since I write HTML code I know what it is and there was no code in the comment. Assist please
MSgt Kerry Moffit, Lackland AFB TX
1/3/2013 4:42:15 PM ET
If they are really worried about unmanned fitness centers just dress a mannequin in kahakis and a blue polo it will accomplish the same amount of work.Also stop letting the on the verge of dieing retirees into the fitness center. They don't wipe down equipment after use walk around stark naked outside of the shower area and generally are unplesant to look at.
SSgt, Eglin
1/2/2013 3:07:32 PM ET
Awesome idea -- needs to be implemented correctly. One of the benefits that staff-manned facilities offer is increased quality of experience. An open gym gets messy quickly which decreases quality of the experience. Those accessing the gym during unstaffed hours should first get gym-orientation and agree to a conduct that promotes not only safety but community respect.
Capt S, Special Duty
12/21/2012 2:58:46 PM ET
it's a great idea long overdue but im almost positive it wont get approved Air Force wide major bases at best...too many draw backs safety concerns and overall maintainenceupkeep. The moment someone gets hurt in the middle of the night or breaks something...that will be the end of that test
SSgt A.D.S, DM
12/21/2012 11:44:54 AM ET
You all fools
J- Dobb, Randolph
12/21/2012 11:43:01 AM ET
76 Thats cutting it pretty close. Sounds more like you needed that gym.
SSgt, Eglin AFB
12/21/2012 10:52:19 AM ET
I am the tip of the spear when it comes to fitness. I recently scored a 76 on my PT test. I did this all on my own without the help of the gym. I just wanted to prove that you can pass your PT test without the gym. Run in the sand do pushups in gravel and do sit ups in mud. That was my recipe for success. I improved my PT score from 63 the last time I tested to a 76 this time. I took my family to Golder Corral to celebrate my success. If you guys need help just ask. I'll keep checking this thread and will give you guys sweet advice so you can pass too. Who needs the gym
TSgt Jeff M., Hurlburt AFB
12/21/2012 9:31:55 AM ET
This would be nice especially at Hill since many of the civilians and contractors use the gym right before during and after work hours. There are so many people on this base that pay for a membership outside the gate because they can never get on a machine. Also their indoor pool is not open on weekends which can be a problem for those that need it to train whereas off-base they are open during the weekends and not with such limited hours.
SSgt , Hill AFB UT
12/21/2012 9:00:18 AM ET
I think the 24hr 7day gym concept is a wonderful idea that will cater to those who cannot make standard operating hours. I do think these test cases should have included a base that has a higher ops-tempo to conduct a more accurate test on useage.
TSgt, Aviano AB Italy
12/21/2012 8:21:40 AM ET
This is a great idea. Here at Little Rock so many Airmen work odd hours to support the Air Force's mission. This will take some stressors out of those Airmen's lives since they will be able to plan their workouts the way they want it without havint to plan them around the constrained hours of the Gym. The gym already gets cleaned every day so its no problem if it gets a little bit dirtier. Also extra cleaning gives the folks behind the counter some more to do then just have 5 people sitting behind a desk. Hope this works out and no Airmen ruin it for everyone else.
SrA, Little Rock
12/21/2012 5:21:47 AM ET
All i can say is it's about time I'm I'm glad someone recognized the fact that most of us do not work bankers hours. Now if we could only get personnel offices to follow suite...
TSgt, Sheppard
12/21/2012 12:24:12 AM ET
I'd like to say this is a great idea for everyone but this really only works when facilities are also to be manned 247. Leave a fitness center unmanned and customers will find a way to break equipment and mirrors damage the facility cause a serious injury to themselves or worse kill themselves. Then when the worst happens leaders will have to decide do they want to spend more money to man the facility or just go back to scheduled hours of operation. The way the government is working lately they will not let us man these facilities and 247 fitness centers will cease to exist except at places where it is the norm.In the meantime those fitness centers that are open 247 to include the new test bases no matter what shift you work you really have no excuses for not passing your fitness assessment now. In fact I expect to see your bases as the leaders in fitness assessment passing rates.In my 22 years in the military do something nice for customer service or quality
MSgt Prove Me Wrong, Ramstein
12/20/2012 9:49:43 PM ET
247 will be a good idea for the mid shift workers. But everyone who is saying oh this will be great i will have time to go now Yeah right.. always love to hear the excuses for failing. never there fault lol.
Ssgt, Eielson
12/20/2012 9:24:01 PM ET
SpangdahlemBitburg Housing side had a gym annex that was unmanned. I went there on a daily basis and we had no problems with it getting dirty. You had to have a pin code to get in and you had to register at the Fitness Center on Spangdahlem AB to get the pin code. It was awesome With the security cameras there was no thievery and everyone pitched in to make sure the place stayed clean. Good luck to all the test bases do us all proud so we can get the fitness centers open 247.
TGann, Charleston
12/20/2012 7:03:49 PM ET
This concept should be DOD driven vs single service. I'm ANG however my locale installation is Army. They have a new gym with outstanding staff. Going 247 would help with all components of the military. Thanks
Holden, OCONUS
12/20/2012 3:02:12 PM ET
If you don't staff the gym with people to keep it clean then you should not bother with this initiative. 724 operation will just turn the gym into a nasty pigsty if money and effort are not budgeted to keep it clean. The gyms at Eglin suffer more from cleaning neglect than money to improve the gym. What is the use in spending money to improve facilities if you don't bother to maintain and clean them
Archie, Eglin
12/20/2012 2:55:38 PM ET
I am an extremely obese TSgt and I would like the gym to be open 247. That might help me put down the chips and chili dogs and go hit the treadmill. There are nights my hypertension wakes me up and it would be nice to be able to go to the gym to better myself. One of the reasons I don't go to the gym during peak hours is because everyone stares at my PT gear that often rips from the stress my leg fat puts on it. If the gym was open at 0300 I could work out wo embarrassment and still hit up Hardees before work. It just sounds like a good idea all around. I may even score a PT test in the 70's if I'm lucky Wish me luck
Jeff, Hurlburt
12/20/2012 1:30:34 PM ET
I think this is an awesome idea and should be implemented here at Fairchild. We get the winter storms and its difficult to work out outside so we are crammed in our gym. Most people go after work 1600 but some of us try to go in the morning. The gym opens at 0430 and it was working great for a while because not a lot of people come that early but people are realizing that congestion in the afternoon is making it difficult to work out and so they come in the morning. The parking lots are filled by 0600 here and its difficult to get a good workout. If the gym is open 247 we can adjust our times to come in when we get a chance. Hopefully this will eliminate the congestion on peak hours.
SSgt Strait, Fairchild AFB
12/20/2012 1:19:10 PM ET
This is great I would love to see it spread nation wide.
Justin G., LangleyEustis
12/20/2012 12:18:17 PM ET
I believe is a step in the right direction as it allows members in with 247 man-units the opportunity to adapt and overcome fitness goals. This is the best news of the year
JGarcia, Robins AFB
12/20/2012 11:18:36 AM ET
This is a much needed change in Today's Air Force Especially with the increased focus on fitness and the weight it carries on Airman's careers these days. We had a similar small scale set-up at Tyndall AFB where the maintainers had a maintainer's gym that was open 24-7 M-F. It allowed for the shift workers to still get their fitness in when their schedule doesn't allow for them to go during the normal fitness center hours. However this gym was on a much smaller scale and was limited. So if the AF does infact implement a 247 Fitness Center this would greatly benefit shift workers AF wide. Yet fitness goers will have to take into account that with an unmanned fitness center some activities that require the check-out of equipment will not be availabele in the after-hours. That is minor drawback though because the main focus should be to provide access to the cardio and weight equipment that is readily available on the floor. I truely hope this moves forward and the AF continues to
Don, Ellsworth AFB SD
12/20/2012 10:38:59 AM ET
I think this is a great idea especially here. Our gym is open to civilians working on base so the gym is always packed with people when the duty day ends. It's annoying trying to wait for machines. IF they went to 24 hour ops everyone would benefit from a less stressful more fullfilling workout. Stay fit to fight
SSgt Steven Rust, Hill AFB UT
12/20/2012 9:54:22 AM ET
@MSgt- it appears you read the headlines and not the article. The difference between 247 this time around is the manpower requirement.
Maj, Langley
12/20/2012 9:31:17 AM ET
Not only do I think this is a GREAT idea as dual military parent I think that they should test overseas bases such as Ramstein. My husband works 12 hr shifts and most of the time nights and I work day shift. This would be great so that on his days off he can come home and see us and then when we are asleep he can utilize the gym Hopefully we can stay responsible and not ruin an opportunity that is being afforded to us
Dual Military, Ramstein AB Germany
12/20/2012 9:09:46 AM ET
John@Ramstein be grateful your installation has more than one facility. Our base has one facility that cannot accommodate the base populace to include the NCOA students.
Arctic Warrior, Peterson AFB CO
12/20/2012 8:29:29 AM ET
Awesome idea 24 hr fitness is a great option for anyone who exercise on a regular basis.
A1C ODEN, Birmingham al
12/20/2012 8:03:35 AM ET
I would just like to have cable or any television access. The screens on each piece of aerobic equipment and in the workout areas are all dark. Also intramurals that don't cost approximately 70-100 per participant would be nice also.
Shirley, Wright-Patterson
12/20/2012 7:56:11 AM ET
I think this is a great idea. When working odd hours I dont feel like I am in such a rush to get to the gym get my work out in and get home. Plus one the weekends its nice to be able to as early or as late as desired. Granted people do need to be responsible and clean after themselves.
SrA, Langley AFB
12/20/2012 3:22:56 AM ET
I think it is a great idea. But I am always wondering how bases that are probably not lacking for MWR are always the test bases for good new ideas. AMC HQ Andrews My base's fitness center hours are 0600-1800 M-F. You read that correct no weekends and our days shift guys come to work before it opens and go home after it closes.
Giss, Moron Spain
12/20/2012 2:33:52 AM ET
Korea has a real world mission and is still able to keep 247 operations at their fitness centers. It makes no sense that the rest of the force could not have used them as an example of operation.
SSGT, Aviano Italy
12/20/2012 1:56:41 AM ET
I wish this would also take place in USAFE. When I was in PACAF every base I went to was 247 it would be great if this went Air Force wide.
SSgt, Ramstein
12/19/2012 9:23:20 PM ET
That's awesome. I remember just before I left Tinker they cut their hours severely and I purchased a 247 membership off-base. The only thing that would derail this is the fact that the people in the young and dumb age range will undoubtedly mess it up not clean up do something dumb etc...some people out there just don't care.But hopefully they do roll this out Air Force wide I miss my late night gym sessions. And hopefully they use ID cards for entry access and not try to re-invent the wheel.
Lt Wilson, Yokota AB
12/19/2012 9:06:22 PM ET
I work swing shift so I would love the idea of a 247 gym here. I would much rather go work out after my shift then to wake up early like I have been doing. Hope this goes through
A1C Smith, Eglin AFB
12/19/2012 7:26:09 PM ET
Not sure why this is such a big deal to do. In the long run it is our core values that play into this. I just PCSd to Korea from Creech AFB and the gym at Creech had 247 access. I think they should have controlled it a little better by having some sort of keycardID card access to keep track of who comes and goes and when but when working off-shift I enjoyed the opportunity to step out and head over to the fitness center for an hour or so to take a break.
Rob, Osan AB
12/19/2012 5:31:23 PM ET
I have a membership off base since I live about 30 miles from the base. It's 24hrs because you have to use a keycard to get in. It's great and nice to be able to go on weekends and holidays.
12/19/2012 3:37:20 PM ET
I wouldn't associate limited gym hours with poor fitness. I'm a parent too I don't rely on daycare or my wife for me to find workout time. I run with them I bike with them I swim with them. For a great workout go outside. No matter the weather...either dress warm dry whatever you need. I support this change but it will only take a few knuckleheads to ruin it.
Mike, JBLM
12/19/2012 2:24:56 PM ET
Wow I didn't even know they were testing this at Fairchild and I goto the gym 5 days a week. Good to know
SrA Savage, Fairchild AFB
12/19/2012 2:15:24 PM ET
When I first came in they were all open 24 hrs then the budget cuts came and they rolled back services I'm shocked this has garnered attention. My guess is it will die on 'good idea' table where all the bean counters sit.
MSgt , Langley
12/19/2012 2:06:34 PM ET
Before I come back into the Air Force I worked at one of the fitness centers on lackland. I think having 24 hr fitness centers are good but if someone gets seriously hurt whose going to be there to assist people will leave the gym a mess you will also need to make sure cameras are installed cause equipment will become missing. Anybody could sit behind a counter check ID cards and ensure safety.
TSgt Ingleston, Lackland AFB
12/19/2012 1:49:27 PM ET
Should have polled a certain amount of bases in every region state side and overseas to see who would want to participate in a test run. That would provide a more general idea of what people would want. I would definitely wake up early or stay up late to get a chance to work out when the gym's not crazy packed or when the hubs and I are working off shifts.
Courtney E, Ellsworth AFB
12/19/2012 1:22:52 PM ET
Seems like a good idea to me. As long as we all clean up after ourselves and do not break anything we should be good to go with this.
SrA Townsend, Shaw AFBSC
12/19/2012 11:49:22 AM ET
Now if we can enforce common decency to those who are too lazy to clean up equipment after themselves...
Im a runner, TX
12/19/2012 11:34:52 AM ET
This is a great inititative and I hope Airman take advantage of it. This is long overdue with our lower manning and increased ops tempo.
MSgt Kemp, Ft McNair DC
12/19/2012 11:15:25 AM ET
Good idea. The gym in AFG was always open and it was huge morale booster to our SF types who worked crazy hours. Reality is a gym is a luxuryThe driveway and jump rope are always open.
Capt , Baltimore
12/19/2012 9:33:27 AM ET
I am a shift worker and due to our facilities not being 247 I am forced to pay for a private gym membership so that I can go to the gym when it's convenient for my schedule. I think this is a great idea
A1C Saucier, Fort Meade MD
12/19/2012 9:17:59 AM ET
I'm excited about this. I wish it would have been implemented the moment PT test failures became a means for seperating folks from the Air Force.
12/19/2012 9:15:44 AM ET
While stationed at D-M a few years ago they experimented with leaving the gym open 24-7. They put a swipe card on the door to read ID cards and still maintained one staff member in the gym who did random checks. It was great for us shift workers who were also working 24-7 including holidays.
Old Guy, Hanscom AFB
12/19/2012 9:08:09 AM ET
It seems like PACAF has been incorparted this.... Glad to see it finally being incorprated stateside as well. For shift workers this is a great way to stay fit
TW, Soto Cano AB Honduras
12/19/2012 7:51:01 AM ET
This would be very helpful to the busy bodies like myself We as parents and Airmen try our best to accomodate family and the USAF I would be able to do much more training if I could go train when I had time . Like when the kids are picked up from practice and are asleep once Mommy gets home from 12's I could go workout. This has been an Issue since I have been in the USAF We are maintainers and it makes us unable to go to mandatory PT like every other AFSC. Nobody ever wants to admit that we dont do mandatory PT but we dont even though the attemp is there we dont. By offering this option it would improve PT for maintenance tremendously It may be boring for the services guy but oh well.
Gilbert Beltran, BAF
12/19/2012 7:08:51 AM ET
Our gym here on Guam is incredibly open 24-hours and it is fantastic considering some bases in Afghanistan don't even keep theirs open all the time. I can say that it really makes a difference to the ability of our shift workers to have a fit to fight lifestyle. It's nice to a customer service attitude and a little common sense to how we help those who make the mission happen in the middle of the night. Keep it up
Capt, Andersen
12/19/2012 3:30:08 AM ET
Needed overseas
SrA Cooldude, Italy
12/19/2012 2:30:23 AM ET
Why not adopt a system like used for Anytime Fitness or even our portals we use daily. Have a key fob you scan or swipe your CAC to show that you entered and it logs it in a daily activity. This way you always have a record of who was there and utilizing the facility.
12/18/2012 9:13:30 PM ET
Why were there no OCONUS bases chosen for this study Here at Ramstein we have a 24 hour operation in just about every area yet one gym closes at 1900 and the other at 2300.
John, Ramstein AB
12/18/2012 8:08:39 PM ET
I think a 24hr gym is a great idea just like during deployments. I love nothing more than a late night workout so this will be great when it finally comes my way
Benjamin Perry, McChord AFB
12/18/2012 7:11:19 PM ET
Finally an idea I agree with not having to hurry up finish work before the gym closes.
MSgt Dardini, Grissom ARB
12/18/2012 6:24:37 PM ET
Access to the fitness centers should be monitored during peak hours to prevent overcrowding. Late night and off-peak hours should be safe to allow unmonitored access. Cameras and users can remain vigilant for theft or emergencies. Most of the Air Force population is trained in First Aid anyway.
12/18/2012 5:27:44 PM ET
Before joining the AF I had a membership to a 24 hour gym. It was nice being able to workout on the holidays or go whenever I wanted. The drawback the membership cost money. I think this is a good idea and should be implemented Air Force wide.
Nick S., Ellsworth
12/18/2012 5:15:49 PM ET
Can they implament this at Malmstrom please
Romberger, Malmstrom AFB Montana
12/18/2012 4:26:47 PM ET
Seems like a no-brainer. I never interact with any staff at the fitness center why do they need to be at the front desk for me to use a treadmill
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