By Wayne Crenshaw
Copyright 2014 The Macon (Ga.) Telegraph
ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE — Hand-to-hand combat doesn’t happen often in today’s high-tech military operations, but if it does, Robins airmen may be more prepared for it.
The base unveiled three new fitness areas Friday that put more emphasis on fighting the old-fashioned way.
The areas include equipment related to mixed martial arts, as well as some gear that is more specifically aimed for high intensity workouts commonly used by special operations troops.
One example is a Marpo rope trainer that simulates climbing a rope both vertically and horizontally.
Mick Szymanski, director of the 78th Force Support Squadron, said the new areas will help troops become combat ready.
“The goal is if you practice and train like it is the real thing, then when something becomes real, you can depend on the practice,” he said.
He added, however, that it isn’t just about getting troops better prepared for deployment but getting them more physically fit for their daily jobs. Adding a different kind of workout, he said, will make fitness training more attractive to those who may have become bored with treadmills and standard weight lifting equipment.
Staff Sgt. Andrew Richardson, who works in the heavily deployed Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System, was using the equipment Friday. He said it gives him an intense workout in a short period of time, but that’s not the biggest difference from standard fitness equipment.
“This is a lot more fun,” he said.