Early wake-up calls = fitness center success for FSS

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My alarm went off at 4 a.m. After pushing snooze twice, I no longer had the option to push it again. Not sure what I was thinking when I made the arrangements to hang out with Tech. Sgt. Bridget Brummet, 115th Force Support Squadron, but I definitely wasn’t considering the early wake-up call!

After throwing on my uniform, brushing my teeth and pulling my hair back – I was on my way out the door – into the rain and darkness of England.

Luckily Bridget and Staff Sgt. Ashley Birdsill let me hitch a ride with them for their morning shift at the Mildenhall Fitness Center. Had they not offered the ride, I would have had a very long, soggy walk. The fitness center was on the other side of base, a 3 1/2 mile drive from our lodging area.

We arrived just before 5 a.m. People were already lined up outside the doors waiting to get inside for their workout. They shot hoops, ran on the treadmills and lifted weights.

Bridget and Ashley got their workouts in, and then got ready to answer questions, help people who needed guidance, collect/wash/fold towels and observe safe workout habits throughout the center.

The base gym was substantially bigger than our gym back home – it had a full basketball court, at least 20 treadmills lined up in the cardio room with other equipment, a weight-training area, a Fitness Assessment Center (of which one of our Airmen, Staff Sgt. Brenda Hahn, was assigned to daily as well), a sauna, huge locker rooms, an indoor track, etc. The list goes on – this place was massive!

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Five of our Airmen from the 115th Fighter Wing had a chance to work alongside our active-duty counterparts at the facility. They learned what it takes to run a facility that size, to keep schedules organized enough to cover all shifts and how to integrate themselves seamlessly – few of the base Airmen realized they weren’t even a part of the 100th Force Support Squadron.

Unity and friendships are continually being made during our short stay at Mildenhall. Air National Guard and active-duty Air Force Airmen are coming together again — showing their dedication to the total force, their excitement to work together, and their non-stop energy proving no matter what situation arises, they’ll face it as a team!

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About Tech. Sgt. Andrea F. Rhode

Tech. Sgt. Andrea F. Rhode is a photojournalist for the 115th Fighter Wing in Madison, Wisconsin.