Straight Talk: How do you get your workout?

  • Published
  • By Col. Stacy L. Yike
  • 66th Air Base Group commander
Fitness is a key component to good health for military and civilians alike. If you aren't getting out three to five times per week, then you are missing out on multiple benefits to reduce blood pressure, lower cholesterol, burn more calories, increase muscle tone and reduce stress. Hanscom offers a wide variety of fitness opportunities.

The Fitness and Sports Center is open seven days a week with racquetball and basketball courts, plus fitness classes. We host intramurals in softball, basketball, volleyball, soccer and flag football. We have an outdoor track, fitness trail, outdoor tennis courts, plus the indoor Tennis Bubble.

In addition to all the things you can do on base, we have two great trails just outside the gates. The 11-mile Minuteman Bikeway is located just outside the Hartwell Gate. Find out more information at And there's the Minute Man National Park and Battle Road just outside the Vandenberg Gate. Don't let the cooler weather derail you; make your physical and mental health a priority and get out there today!

Keeping all these facilities available for you is a critical part of the 66th Air Base Group mission. I anticipate funding challenges this year will require us to streamline our operations to ensure we meet the needs of the base. This means we need to hear from you. During the month of October we will conduct surveys at every facility to find out what fitness services you want most, and your input counts! Read on for input on the swimming pool from a Marine Corps resident.

Input: I do not think that charging any dollar amount to active duty family members should occur for pool use. The annual amount charged is substantial to servicemembers and most likely does not put much of a dent into the operating cost of a pool facility. If it is the case that the monies that do come from active duty family patrons is substantial for the overhead cost, I think it is necessary to evaluate the pool hours and privileges at the pool. For the amount of money a family has to pay to enjoy what is free at most installations, pool hours should be expanded on the weekends and the evening during the school year in order to enable ample time for families to get their money's worth. Lastly, I cannot understand how the pool is not open in the early morning hours to accommodate laps during the high peak hours of physical fitness activity?

Response: My research shows that most U.S. Marine Corps bases, except Quantico, do not charge fees for any pool usage. However, the U.S. Air Force has charged for recreational swimming at all CONUS bases for many years. This nominal fee funds the lifeguard staff and necessary pool supplies.

We do have free lap swim for active duty during all pool hours, 10 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. Monday through Friday, 4 to 6:45 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 12 noon to 4:30 p.m. Saturday. We have not had sufficient interest in morning lap swim to justify the cost of the two lifeguards needed to open the pool. Instead we have teamed with Minuteman Masters Swim Club to use our pool from 5:30 to 7 a.m. This group offers a special military rate as well as many additional coaching and competition benefits. You can find further information at  

We will definitely look at moving our hours to support our customers, so please fill out the surveys available at the pool to give us your input.