Vance partners with YMCA for use of indoor track

  • Published
  • By Joe B. Wiles
  • 71st Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- The weather can’t get too windy or too cold for Air Force physical fitness assessments thanks to an agreement signed Feb. 29 between Vance Air Force Base and the local YMCA.

During a meeting of the newly formed Air Force Community Partnership program, Col. Fred Cunningham, 71st Flying Training Wing vice commander, and Ken Rapp, head of the Denny Price Family YMCA of Enid, formalized the agreement that will let Vance Airmen use the YMCA’s indoor track for PT testing.

“We were looking for a place where our Airmen could continue to test without dealing with the elements,” said Chief Master Sgt. Melvina Smith, the 71st Mission Support Group superintendent.

“During the winter months it can get pretty cold when the wind blows,” said Smith. “We reached out to the YMCA to ask if they would be willing to partner with us and let us use their indoor track. They said, ‘absolutely.’”

Smith said the next step with the YMCA is to make an arrangement to use their indoor swimming pool to meet student pilot training needs when the base pool is closed for the season.

The AFCP, one of the 13 “Make Every Dollar Count” initiatives launched by the Air Force, is working with 51 installations and local communities to partner and achieve mutual value and benefit, according to Steve Zander, the AFCP program director.

Meetings of the local community partnership are currently held monthly, and attended by senior leadership from the base, Enid and Garfield County. Air Force Facilitators are guiding the partnership during its initial phase.

"We look forward to planning more initiatives in the coming months," said Smith. "Cooperation with community partners have been amazing".