Northeast Air Defense Sector opens new fitness center

Members from the Northeast Air Defense Sector in Rome, N.Y., run for the first time during the NEADS Fitness Center opening Friday. The new fitness center was funded by First Air Force, and the new facility will house an indoor running track, basketball court, two racquetball courts, three saunas, an aerobics room and weight room.  Photo Illustration by Master Sgt. Carlos Castro

Members from the Northeast Air Defense Sector in Rome, N.Y., run for the first time during the NEADS Fitness Center opening Friday. The new fitness center was funded by First Air Force, and the new facility will house an indoor running track, basketball court, two racquetball courts, three saunas, an aerobics room and weight room. Photo Illustration by Master Sgt. Carlos Castro

ROME, N.Y. -- In keeping with the 'Fit to Fight' mindset of the Air Force, the Northeast Air Defense Sector officially opened its new fitness center Friday for use of Department of Defense employees, including members at NEADS, Air Force Research Lab and Defense Finance and Accounting Services.

Renovating Depot 1, East Wing, which was an existing building located in the Griffiss Business and Technology Park into the new fitness center took coordination between all three DOD agencies here. Funding for the project was obtained through NEADS' higher headquarters at First Air Force, Air Combat Command.

"We must ensure that our troops are fit to fight and able to perform at and above Air Force standards," said Col. Clark Speicher, NEADS commander. "I wanted to thank First Air Force for making this project was possible. The project first started out as an indoor track and grew into a facility much more than that thanks to the additional funds from First Air Force."

Attending the ribbon cutting ceremony Friday from First Air Force was Col.
Don Whitehead, First Air Force Financial Management chief, and Don Hansen, Northrop Grumman program manager.

The project cost an estimated $700,000 was completed in two phases and included demolition cleaning and replacement of materials and then installation of equipment in the 80,000 square foot facility. The new facility will house an indoor running track, basketball court, two racquetball courts, three saunas, an aerobics room and weight room.

"We're very excited to get this facility up and running - it will be a great benefit to all of the DOD employees here, especially during the winter months," said Colonel Speicher.