38th CSW competes to be ‘fit to fight’

1st Lt. Erin Dorrance
Kaiserslautern American

The 38th Combat Support Wing stood up in May 2004 and quickly faced one
of the Air Force’s biggest challenges – ensuring a “fit to fight”
Col. Rich Weathers, 38th CSW commander, took this challenge to heart.

“Because the wing consists of personnel located at Air Force, Army,
Navy, NATO and host country installations, I knew this was going to be
a big challenge, requiring detailed planning and execution,” Colonel
Weathers said.

“With the wing scattered across nine countries and 30 locations, we needed something to pull us together.”  

The wing developed its program by directing an annual Fitness Retest
Cycle which units had to accomplish by Oct. 15. Colonel Weathers
believed this would give personnel enough time to train outdoors and
prepare for the official test.  

During the training months, fitness leaders gave practice tests to
judge each unit’s fitness level and identify those needing extra help.
The wing also directed mandatory use of FitLinxx, a software program
that tracks physical fitness. This allowed commanders at all levels to
track overall workout habits for units and individuals.  

When it was time to take the physical fitness test, Col. Michael Lewis,
38th CSW vice commander, challenged the wing’s units to a wing-wide

“The PFT does not allow individuals to score above 100 points, so we
designed a point system in the spirit of the Air Force Instruction to
identify the winners,” said Colonel Lewis.  

The Combat Support Center took the group award with a combined fitness
average of 89.3 percent. Individual winners included Staff Sgt. Patrick
Noppenberg, 701st Munitions Support Squadron, Belgium, who placed first
in the men’s challenge with 126 points. Capt. Patricia Dalton, 470th
Air Base Squadron, Germany, swept first place in the women’s challenge
with 112.3 points.

“It was incredible to see the men and women of the 38th CSW not only
accomplish the challenges of our diverse mission, but also take the
fitness challenge seriously and ensure they are fit to fight,” said
Colonel Weathers.