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178 FW's first wing-wide fitness test huge sucess

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Joseph Stahl
  • 178 FW Public Affairs
178th Fighter Wing Guardsmen used to complete the fitness test whenever their month came up, however, the 178th Mission Support Group decided to accomplish their fitness test as a group during their Warrior Week in the summer several years ago.

The change proved to be so successful that the wing leadership decided to try this concept with the entire wing.

According to Col. Bill Wolfarth, the 178 MSG commander, the fitness test was a huge success.

"Unit members enjoyed the festive atmosphere and enjoyed having the timing clock," said Colonel Wolfarth.

Because of 178 MSG's success with the mass fitness test the 178 FW conducted the first wing-wide test May 30 and 31. Just fewer than 700 wing members participated in the fitness evaluation.

Fitness monitors weighed and measured testers prior to the test date and groups broke out to complete the pushups and sit ups prior to the run.

The same contractor who provided the timing bibs and music for the 178 MSG test was used for the wing-wide fitness test.

The 178th Security Forces Squadron cordoned off the running course, provided traffic control and a pace car for the beginning of the race.

Chief Master Sgt. Ottis LeMaster, 178th Fighter Wing command chief said there were many positive comments about the mass fitness test.

"I have not seen that much camaraderie in years. It was great to see people cheering for each other," said Chief LeMaster. He also said that he has heard nothing but positive feedback.

Music at the start line played before the run began. Runners enjoyed the cheers of support from fellow unit members throughout the 1.5-mile running course. The course was clearly marked with arrows every half mile.

Once the runners crossed the finish line, the computer chip recorded their time, and they were treated to a water-misting fan, water to drink, and a shaded canopy.

Beyond all the benefits for runners, Colonel Wolfarth said that conducting the run in this manner eliminates integrity issues.

The plan is to conduct the fitness test the same way next year.