Combat Fitness for life ensures a fit Air Force

Col. Bill Nelson
435th Aerospace Medicine Squadron commander

Combat Fitness is the U.S. Air Forces in Europe initiative to ensure a fit and healthy force that is physically prepared to take the fight to the enemy. This is a vital program for USAFE, but even more so for you!

I can personally vouch for the importance of this program. During one week shortly after the Global War on Terrorism commenced, three truly patriotic Airmen, who had volunteered to deploy to a key far-forward base, developed chest pains and had to be evacuated to undergo emergency cardiac procedures.

Fortunately, all three Airmen survived. However, they put their own lives at risk, despite their patriotic fervor, because they had not maintained their fitness. Furthermore, they put the mission at risk, because their units were then short three Airmen in the early critical days of Operation Enduring Freedom when each and every Airman was needed to put bombs on target in Afghanistan.

USAFE health and wellness centers, fitness centers and dining facilities are collaborating to provide Airmen the Combat Fitness platform to develop excellent personal fitness.

The 435th Aerospace Medicine Squadron’s Health and Wellness Center offers Airmen group and individual exercise prescriptions and expert nutritional advice to maximize physical activity. Additionally, the HAWC and KMC fitness centers work together to present the Fitness Improvement Program, which enhances Airmen’s use of fitness equipment so they can optimize their fitness development. The HAWC is also collaborating with the 435th Services Squadron to ensure that healthy food is available in dining facilities for Airmen aiming for peak physical performance.

While Combat Fitness is a critical component of personal readiness for every USAFE Airman, the benefits of fitness are not limited to the time we serve in the world’s most respected Air Force. The positive effects of personal fitness will endure throughout life, and make life after the Air Force healthier and more enjoyable.

The National Institutes of Health convened an expert panel to address the impact of physical activity and cardiovascular health. The conference consensus stated that all Americans should engage in regular physical activity accumulating at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical exercise on most, and preferably, all days of the week.

Regular exercise, three to four times a week, will make you feel more energetic, improve the efficiency of your heart and lungs, and help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight. It also reduces the chance you will develop high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease.

So embrace Combat Fitness because you will be better prepared to execute your mission and because you will increase the likelihood that you will enjoy a longer and healthier life following your service in the world’s pre-eminent Air Force.