GRF CoverGovernment Recreation & Fitness

Highlights of the June 2012 Issue

THOR3 Program — Building Modern-Day Warriors


It is fitting that the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) named its Tactical Human Optimization Rapid Rehabilitation and Reconditioning (THOR3) program after a mythological figure associated with strength and protection of mankind. The THOR3 program, based on the athletic training model used today by professional strength and conditioning coaches in sports settings, is building stronger, more resilient special operators who are in peak physical shape for deployment, less likely to get injured and able to return to action faster from injury than ever before. In essence, the program is building modern-day warriors like Thor.

“We have had great success with the THOR3 program, which is designed to increase combat performance, prevent injuries, improve health and longevity and facilitate rapid return to duty,” says Brig. Gen. Edward M. Reeder Jr., USA, commanding general U.S. Army Special Forces Command (Airborne). “These professionals are all working in the area of preventative care as well to enhance resilience and stress hardiness. As always, we continue to push the need to select only the most stress-hardy individuals, train them to hone these skills and provide monitoring support and/or treatment when needed to keep them supporting their mission.”

According to Ray Bear, a human performance coordinator who runs the THOR3 program for 3rd Special Operations Group (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, N.C., the training is having a positive impact on the overall readiness of these tactical athletes, creating more resilient and smarter special forces operators.” ...

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Sky's The Limit — Fairchild AFB Opens New Fitness Center


Fairchild AFB, Wash., opened its $18.8 million, 79,000-square-foot, new fitness center on March 9, providing airmen and their families with the premier fitness, health and wellness facilities they deserve. Co-located with the fitness center are the Health and Wellness Center (HAWC) — a vitally important tool in the Air Force Fitness arsenal — and a pool that is used for recreation, water aerobics and Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) training.

According to Fitness Director John Gahagan, although there was a plan to replace the old fitness center, the real impetus came in 2009 when a roof in the 1940s warehouse that the fitness center was housed in collapsed under the weight of excessive snow (more than 100 inches).

“Despite the fact that we were able to make numerous repairs to the roof, there was still a question of how much of a snow load it could handle, so leadership at the time decided to put an emergency replacement plan in place,” notes Gahagan. “The new building gave us the same footprint and square footage that we had before, but as a design-build project we had a clean slate to create a building that would best suit our needs.” ...

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Field of Dreams — Camp Lejeune Makes Switch to Synthetic Turf


As is the case at many large military installations, the outdoor playing fields at MCB Camp Lejeune, N.C., get incredible usage. From recreational play and sports leagues to training and installation events, the outdoor grass fields take a lot of abuse. Over time, Camp Lejeune saw degradation in the quality and safety of its outdoor playing surfaces and began to look into a long-term solution.

“As a very large military installation, we have 45,000 active-duty members here and serve a total population — including family members, civilians, contractors, etc. — of approximately 180,000 people,” says Chris Alger, Sports Branch head, Semper Fit Division. “Our fields get a lot of use and it was difficult to maintain them to the best standards, especially when there was no down time to let them recuperate.”

The playing fields, which include a football/soccer stadium, a multipurpose field and a softball stadium, are located next to the field house — a highly utilized facility because it is the largest gathering place on the installation.

“The fields are used by everyone — Marines, spouses and youth — and for a variety of purposes, including recreational and organized sports, physical training, unit functions — whatever the need may be,” notes Alger. “So the biggest concern for us was safety. Our fields had been used so much that they were no longer safe to play on, they were no longer level, they had divots and holes and our drainage system was failing. That really was the main impetus for this whole project — creating safe playing and training environments.” ...

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