LRAFB Upgrades Gym Equipment

  • Published
  • By Airman Julian Atkins
  • 19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The fitness center at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, reopened with brand new work-out equipment, April 6, 2023.

“The fitness center has a five-year equipment replacement plan,” said Tech. Sgt. Steven Powers, 19th Force Support Squadron NCOIC of fitness operations. “We had $539,000 of new equipment delivered; 604 pieces of new equipment.”

Due to the large amount of new equipment, the fitness center closed for three days to replace and organize new machines, weights, and other exercise gear.

Despite the down time, Powers assures Airmen it is worth the wait as the new equipment is more efficient than the previous items that they have replaced.

“We’ve gotten a small handful of brand-new equipment that we haven't had in the fitness center before, for example we replaced our belt squat machine,” Powers said. “The one we had is an earlier model and the ergonomics aren't quite perfect on it, but the new one is more user friendly and won't wear out as fast.”

Installation of new equipment isn't the only part of this project, as the old equipment was recycled to different organizations on base.

“571 pieces of equipment were recycled to all the different units on base that have unit physical training facilities,” said Powers. “Operational units that have a need and justification to have their own fitness center in their workplace were able to claim the used equipment for their facilities.”

Organizations with 24-hour operations such as command post, security forces, fire department, and other squadrons on base all received pieces of equipment from the fitness center, providing them with easily accessible exercise equipment for their conveniently co-located exercise locations.

“We want to be able to expand our reach and give them the same level of quality equipment they would expect at the base fitness center, while also saving the units’ money,” Powers said.

The task of repurposing the previously used exercise equipment is saving organizations on base hundreds of thousands of dollars and enabling them to focus on physical fitness which is tied to combat readiness and resiliency improvements.

“By recycling all of this equipment, it is saving all our units a total of $380,000,” Powers said. “We’ve replaced and recycled anything and everything from treadmills, ellipticals, and all kinds of free weights.”

Powers said he holds high standards for the fitness center and its goals moving forward.

“The ultimate goal after the equipment refresh is to continue to provide a quality atmosphere for people to come and work out,” Powers said. “I want this place to be a state-of-the-art facility, and we're looking at some other initiatives to improve the overall customer experience as well.”