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FSS is here for you

  • Published
  • By Maj. Ricardo Garcia
  • 90th Force Support Squadron commander
After arriving at F. E. Warren in July 2011 and having my change of command, it was just a couple months later that the decision was made to cut positions across the Air Force. The 90th Force Support Squadron received a significant amount of those cuts, which forced our hand to close the Aquatics Center in December of 2011 and the Auto Skills Center in February 2012.

I'm excited to say we are now in a position to finally bring back these services to F. E. Warren's Airmen and their families thanks to some very innovative and creative ideas.

I look forward to the Aquatic Center opening in April for lap swim with future plans to bring back programs such as swim lessons and water aerobics and open swim for our families. We are in the process of trying to hire an aquatics director as well, so if you happen to know someone with an applicable skill set, please direct them to the 90th FSS Human Resources Department to apply.

The Auto Skills Center will be opening on Saturdays in April initially, and will then expand by adding an additional day during the week for patrons to change their own oil, rotate tires, change brakes as well as many more minor repairs. I know this value is huge since there is no comparable service offered off the installation.

We are also doing many other things. The Air Force has begun an initiative called Services Transformation which has allowed F. E. Warren to be able to take advantage and be a part of several test bed programs or "out-of-the-box" initiatives such as opening up our 24-hour Fitness Center at Independence Hall.

We are one of only six Air Force installations with a new 24-hour Fitness Center. This initiative has allowed us to provide secure access to the facility with closed-circuit televisions to monitor our patrons and the facility. In addition, we have added selectorized fitness equipment into Independence Hall for Airmen and families to use.

The only thing you have to do to for access to the facility is register your Common Access Card, dependent or retired military identification cards at Independence Hall. This will allow you into the facility anytime.

The Fitness Assessment Cell conducts official fitness assessments Monday to Wednesday from 7:30 a.m to noon and 1:30 to 3 p.m. There is also a very nice cardio room upstairs, which has a good selection of fitness equipment to choose from. This facility is especially valuable when the weather does not allow us to run/exercise outdoors.

By the way, F. E. Warren is very fortunate to have captured Fiscal Year 2012 Department of Defense funds to develop and build a new quarter-mile track behind the Freedom Hall Fitness Center this spring. It will have eight running lanes and will be used for Fitness Assessments during the summer months. An additional part of this project will be to resurface 1.33-mile running track surrounding the parade field. These are both huge quality of life projects from which all our Airmen and families can benefit.

Other Services Transformation projects in the works are the relocation of Outdoor Recreation operations and the retail portion of the Arts and Crafts Center over to the Fall Hall Community Center. Moving these service activities to Fall Hall will increase the synergy among 90th FSS employees and create a "one-stop-shop" for our Airmen. The Air Force is calling a facility like this a "commons" and is supporting these projects with funds. These projects will take some time, and I expect them to start this spring and hopefully be completed by late summer as long as the construction stays on track and the weather cooperates.

Our goal here in the 90th FSS is to make F. E. Warren a better place to work, play and live by providing the best services to our Airmen and their families. Thank you for using the base services; it is what makes the program successful so we can continue offering them.