Feature   Defense News

New Special Operations Outdoor Training Facility Allows Safe Workouts

July 7, 2020 | BY ARMY STAFF SGT. STEVEN COLVIN

U.S. Special Operations Command Central has opened a new outdoor human performance facility at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, providing the opportunity for safe and socially distant workouts while allowing a venue to maintain personal wellness.

An outdoor fitness facility.
Outdoor Fitness Facility
The new U.S. Special Operations Command Central outdoor human performance facility was dedicated at MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa, Fla., June 3, 2020. The new facility awaits the final phase of its transformation: the installation of equipment.
Photo By: Army Staff Sgt. Steven Colvin
VIRIN: 200625-A-HO673-666

Officials deemed it necessary to open the outdoor facility during a time where most public fitness facilities were closed due to COVID-19.

Navy Rear Adm. H. Wyman Howard III, the Soccent commander, cut the ribbon to open the facility June 3.

''This is a great moment for us to be able to expand the [human performance] facilities,'' Howard said. ''With this new workout area, our teammates will have ample room to perform workouts necessary to keep the team fit for the fight.''

Service members working out.
Human Performance Facility
U.S. Special Operations Command Central personnel participate in the first exercise session after the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the new outdoor human performance facility located on the Soccent campus at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., June 3, 2020.
Photo By: Army Staff Sgt. Steven Colvin
VIRIN: 200603-A-HO673-877

The facility is nearly the length of an American football field; stretching 247 feet, with half of the flooring made of synthetic turf and the remainder made of rubber matting for the equipment workout area. New lighting and industrial fans were installed throughout the facility, which also includes a purified drinking station. The open-air, yet covered, space allows athletes to work out without being exposed to the direct sunlight.

After the ceremony, Mike Renteria, Soccent's strength and conditioning coach, invited a small group of personnel to stay for the initial workout session at the new facility.

This workout area is the first expansion phase of the human performance facilities, with plans for two more buildings on the Soccent campus to be converted as indoor facilities.

A rendered image of an outdoor human performance facility.
Rendered Image
A rendered image depicts what U.S. Special Operations Command Central’s new outdoor human performance facility at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., will look like when additional fitness equipment is added. The facility is 247 feet long and 36 feet wide.
Photo By: Army Staff Sgt. Steven Colvin
VIRIN: 200603-A-HO673-234

''The expansion of our Human Performance Training Center is going to be a world-class facility, with the best trainers, for the best warriors in the world,'' said Army Maj. Juan Salas, the headquarters commandant for Soccent. ''It will serve as the pinnacle for all special operations forces while stationed at MacDill Air Force Base.''

The expansion and renovation project for the workout areas, physical therapy and rehabilitation facilities will span three fiscal years: 2019, 2020 and 2021.

''The project is moving nicely,'' Salas said. ''The gym equipment will be installed in the new buildings by September of this year.'' The project is scheduled to be completed before the end of 2020.

(Army Staff Sgt. Steven Colvin is assigned to U.S. Special Operations Command Central.)