36th Crisis Response Group is "Fit to Fight" Published May 21, 2007 By Airman 1st Class Carissa Morgan 36th Wing Public Affairs Andersen Air Force Base, Guam -- They have a first sergeant who holds the record for push-ups in the gas chamber and a superintendent who has two degrees in fitness. Each Airman is in peak physical shape. The 36th Contingency Response Group definitely is "Fit to Fight!" The 36 CRG is well-known at Andersen for their rigorous physical training program, which was established by several people. "We give our Airmen time to do PT five days a week," said Chief Master Sgt. Randall McCormick, the 36 CRG Superintendent who helped put together the robust PT program. "This is an incentive for those who meet the standards to do individual PT on Tuesdays and Thursdays." Those who do not meet the standards do structured training on Tuesdays and Thursdays instead of individual PT. Chief McCormick said the additional training is not remedial, it's an effort to encourage Airmen to maintain the high standards that the group demands. "Our Airmen have to meet the Air Force's standards," said Chief McCormick. "However, CRG has its own standard of running three miles in 27 minutes. That is really the cut for those who are able to do individual PT and those who are doing structured PT." "The CRG PT program is more organized and demanding than those I've had in the past," said Senior Airman Kyle Altstaetter, a member of the 736th Security Forces Squadron. Another airman in the 736 SFS agrees that the CRG PT program is tough. "Since Guam is my first assignment I can't really compare the CRG PT program to another one but I will say this: I've played sports my whole life and the PT we do at the CRG is far more demanding," said Airman 1st Class Elizabeth Briones. She continued, "It challenges us to go beyond our expectations and it takes us to another level that people probably thought they wouldn't be able to achieve. When I joined the Air Force, I never ran more than 1.5 miles and now I'm here running almost five miles and just about leading the pack." Some may think PT only has one purpose, to get one in shape. The CRG uses it to foster teamwork and enhance leadership and encourage healthy lifestyles. "There are four purposes to our PT program," said Chief McCormick. "They are to be fit for the mission, build teamwork and camaraderie, build and enhance leadership and be individually overall healthy and well." "We keep ourselves fit for the mission by our diverse and rigorous PT program," he said. "We keep our six-week PT program balanced. Some of the things we do for PT are circuit training, trail runs, last runner up runs, and individual PT." On Mondays, the entire group does PT together. On Wednesdays and Fridays PT is broken down to the squadron level. Tuesdays and Thursdays are individual workout days for those who meet the standards, according to Chief McCormick. "We build teamwork and camaraderie by doing PT as a group, buddy runs so the Airmen can push each other and the ability run," he said. "The ability runs break down the Airmen into their various skill and abilities. The Airmen work to climb the ladder to enhance their ability." In addition to the various workouts, the team plays group activities such as basketball, ultimate football and ultimate Frisbee. "The team sports help to build morale," said Airman 1st Class Briones. "We also PT at the pool to have some fun and we get a workout at the same time." Chief McCormick said the physical training sessions are used for leadership training as well. Physical fitness monitors are not the only ones who lead PT. "Every noncommissioned officer in the CRG leads PT," Chief McCormick said. "Whoever leads PT has to fall in at 6:50 a.m., report accountability, do roll call and then lead the actual PT. "This takes some pretty timid people and puts them in a leadership position where they have to come out of their shell somewhat. It also gives each NCO the ability to showcase their capability as a leader," he said. By staying fit to fight we are ensuring our own health and our own personal wellness, said Chief McCormick. "I deployed to the Jungle Warfare Training Center, which was led by the Marines in Japan," said Airman Briones. "Jungle warfare training made me realize how important it is to stay 'fit to fight' because it tested my abilities to overcome different obstacles. If I wasn't physically fit, I don't think I would have been able to pass the course because it was extremely challenging not only physically but mentally." "By practicing the four purposes of PT we ensure that we are fit and ready to fight at a moment's notice," said Chief McCormick.