CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --
Airmen that work under Air Force Special Operations Command deploy often. They provide support to combat operations around the world. It’s a task as demanding as any other major command, asking a lot from the human body and mind to excel. For Airmen at Cannon, the fight to stay physically relevant in modern warfare requires guidance and knowledge.
In the past, this was the HAWC’s environment, or Health and Wellness Center. Now, it belongs to the 27th Special Operations Medical Group’s health promotions team of Katie Craft and Anthony Cook.
“Half of our job is spent at the clinic,” Craft said. “It involves referrals of anything from obesity, diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol. The other 50% is community outreach.”
Craft and Cook often visit squadrons around base and schools outside of Cannon to discuss their goals and how they reach them.
“Really, [we’re trying] to make sure people are able to do their job efficiently and do their best,” Craft said. “People should only need to worry about getting the mission done and not worry about whether they’re going to pass their physical test or not.”
How they do it is by splitting their workload into two areas: physical exercise and dietary knowledge.
“I focus on the dietary aspect,” Craft explained. “I want people to eat right so they can feel mentally prepared for their jobs. Nutrition plays such a large role in our lives.”
For Airmen deploying, especially, staying fit to fight is key to ensuring the mission is carried out to the best of their ability. This is the focus for the Commando Ready Program, a three-day event where Airmen new to Cannon are given information on how to eat right and stay fit on top of the Newcomer’s Brief.
“The goal of this program is to get Airmen fit to fight as soon and effectively as possible,” Craft said.
Part of the program includes running tests, where medical professionals analyze running patters to ensure Airmen can’t injure themselves from a poor running form, and the InBody Assessment, a free-to-all system where people can measure their fat and muscle percentages and learn more about their own body.
This is just the beginning for Airmen to set obtainable objectives for themselves to get fully fit, however. From here, Airmen can attend classes, either nutritional knowledge in the classroom or physically-demanding classes in the gym, to further their progress toward their best form.
Overall, it’s a job that Craft keeps finding ways to motivate herself by helping others.
“It’s about helping and enlightening people about how to make themselves perform their best,” Craft said. “I love helping people make these small, sustainable changes to their diets that impact them positively.”
So whether you’re already where you want to be or are trying to get to your best physical form, the health promotions team can help you stay fit to fight.