Breaking ground, breaking a sweat: Rheinland-Pfalz soldiers first to conquer ACFT in state-of-the-art functional fitness training center

A Soldier from the 624th Movement Control Detachment performs the hand release push-up-arm extension. The HRP assesses the muscular endurance component of fitness by measuring a Soldier’s upper body endurance and is a strong driver for upper body and core strength training. Flexibility is a secondary component of fitness measured by the HRP. Photos by Linda Lambiotte

Soldiers from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz and the 624th Movement Control Detachment, conducted the Army Combat Fitness Test using the recently upgraded Functional Fitness Training Center on Rhine Ordnance Barracks, Aug. 9.

The HHC Rheinland-Pfalz and 624th teams are the first units to conduct the ACFT in the FFTC since its re-opening in July.

The modernized FFTC provides the space and equipment necessary for Soldiers to conduct functional fitness training aligned to support preparation for the ACFT, which is the assessment for the physical domain of the Army’s Holistic Health and Fitness System. The H2F System focuses on total health and wellness, combining physical fitness with proper sleep, nutrition, and spiritual health. As part of the H2F, the ACFT helps maintain Soldiers’ physical and mental well-being and plays a big role in the Army’s fitness culture. For more information about H2F, visit

A Soldier from the 624th Movement Control Detachment performs the drag portion of the Sprint-Drag-Carry. The SDC assesses the muscular endurance, muscular strength, anaerobic power and anaerobic endurance components of fitness by measuring a Soldier’s ability to sustain moderate to high intensity muscular work over a short duration. Secondary components of fitness assessed by the SDC include balance, coordination, agility, flexibility, and reaction time.

Located in building 229, the FFTC features a 5,000 square foot functional fitness equipment package (think rigs, racks, and bumper plates), select cardio machines (spin bikes and rowers), a combatives mat, and synthetic turf marked with five 25-meter lanes designed to withstand the ACFT sprint-drag-carry event.

“The FFTC is great — it’s got the equipment to perform a variety of physical fitness training activities from cycling to combatives, sprints and weightlifting,” said USAG Rheinland-Pfalz HHC commander Capt. Gabriela Montanez. “Having the space and the right equipment allows units and squads to conduct group physical fitness training in the same area, while being able to provide options and modifications as required for anyone with an injury or profile — without exclusion.”

The ROB FFTC’s recent upgrades are the result of deliberate collaboration and partnership between Rheinland-Pfalz garrison leaders, the Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation and the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, who united behind the vision of providing the most well-equipped fitness training center for Soldiers and Kaiserslautern Military Community members.

“I’m thrilled that we have a place for Soldiers to do functional fitness,” said USAG Rheinland-Pfalz Command Sgt. Maj. Stephen LaRocque. “And I must thank 21st Theater Sustainment Command, as it really was a joint, team effort to get this accomplished. The 21st provided the beautiful turf, and that, combined with our garrison equipment, created a truly phenomenal facility for Soldiers to train in.”

The ACFT is a six-event physical fitness test that includes: three repetition maximum deadlift, standing power throw, hand release push-up-arm extension, sprint-drag-carry, plank and a two-mile run. Each event is designed to assess and improve physical strength, mental toughness, coordination, and flexibility, while reducing preventable injuries — it’s a comprehensive fitness assessment.

HHC Rheinland-Pfalz and 624th Movement Control Detachment Soldiers finish the Two-Mile Run event. The 2MR assesses the aerobic endurance component of fitness. Higher aerobic endurance allows a Soldier to work for long periods of time and to recover more quickly when executing repetitive physical tasks.

“I tell Soldiers, when it comes to ACFT preparation, train on the events you are weaker in,” said LaRocque explaining, “I’ve seen people train hard to max out the points on an event that they’re already strong in and completely neglect to train for improving performance in the event(s) that they are weaker in. The ACFT is a comprehensive measure of fitness that factors in muscular strength and cardiovascular endurance, so you’ve got to train comprehensively, it’s not the old Army Physical Fitness Test.”

The Functional Fitness Facility on ROB is open Mon–Fri from 6-8 a.m., and Mon–Fri from 11 a.m.–1 p.m. for military use only. Military unit reservations are limited to one hour per unit, per week, or on a space available basis and unit POCs are required to attend a facility orientation. Orientations are offered during staffed hours, 6-8:30 a.m. at the facility. For more information, visit the FMWR website at:

The HHC Rheinland-Pfalz team is already planning more physical training events, with many Soldiers requesting to take their next ACFT assessment at the FFCT and Capt. Montanez couldn’t be more pleased, adding, “Fitness is a part of Army life! HHC Rheinland-Pfalz is taking full advantage of this facility as our team works and trains together to be all we can be.”

Staff Sgt. Francesca Cyma, Supply Specialist for HHC Rheinland-Pfalz, performs the 3 Repetition Maximum Deadlift (MDL) event. The MDL assesses the muscular strength component of fitness by measuring a Soldier’s lower body, grip and core muscular strength. It requires well-conditioned back and leg muscles and helps Soldiers avoid hip, knee and lower back injuries. Flexibility and balance are secondary components of fitness assessed by the MDL. Photo by Gabriela Montanez