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Base challenge marks unit's increased emphasis on fitness

Master Sgt. Tim Kenney, Kentucky Air National Guard 123d Maintenance Squadron, holds the feet of Senior Master Sgt. Scott Andrews, 123d Logistics Readiness Squadron, as he performs crunches during the Wing Fitness Challenge July 17, 2010.  Military members of the KyANG engage in regular physical fitness training to meet or exceed the fitness standards set forth by the United States Air Force to ensure readiness to meet the demands of duty performance both at home station and in a deployed environment.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Dennis Flora)

Master Sgt. Tim Kenney, Kentucky Air National Guard 123d Maintenance Squadron, holds the feet of Senior Master Sgt. Scott Andrews, 123d Logistics Readiness Squadron, as he performs crunches during the Wing Fitness Challenge July 17, 2010. Military members of the KyANG engage in regular physical fitness training to meet or exceed the fitness standards set forth by the United States Air Force to ensure readiness to meet the demands of duty performance both at home station and in a deployed environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Dennis Flora)

KENTUCKY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The 123d Airlift Wing held a Fitness Challenge here July 18, just weeks after implementation of new fitness assessment standards Air Force wide.
 
According to Tech. Sgt. Dale Grupe, who coordinated the event in conjunction with the 123d Force Support Squadron, 17 teams of four Airmen each competed in a circuit that consisted of a relay race, pushups and crunches.

The overall winning team was comprised of 123d Special Tactics Squadron members, with a circuit score of 19 minutes, 5 seconds. Team members were Tech. Sgt. Jason Cordy, Capt. Garrett Dawson, Master Sgt. Mark Wilson and 1st Lt. Nathan Tingle. The winning team in the coed division was from the Logistics Readiness Squadron. They posted a time of 12:13. Members of this team included Maj. Katrina Johnson, Master Sgt. Dan Conklin, Staff Sgt. Nicki Smith and Tech. Sgt. Casey Carmichael.

Though not present at the event, Col. Greg Nelson, 123d Airlift Wing commander, supported the event by donating coins that each team used to hand off for the relay and then got to keep.

"You know how much I believe in the physical readiness of our airmen as well as our mental readiness," the commander wrote to his Airmen. "Do well and enjoy the event."

The event reflects the Air Force's continued emphasis on fitness, as is evidenced by the new fitness assessment standards that were implemented July 1. New standards require Airmen to meet a minimum score in each of four components: a 1.5 mile run, pushups, sit-ups and body composition, as well as achieving an overall composite score.

The Fitness Challenge was introduced last year to create a fitness-based event that includes the entire base.

"We wanted to build some esprit de corps and also to stress the importance of fitness in our career field and our daily lives," said Sergeant Grupe, who also manages the base fitness center along with Staff Sgt. Shaun Cowherd and Master Sgt. Kenny Richards.

Fitness staff members are planning to add other events in the future, including a wing volleyball challenge, to encourage increased participation.