Serving personnel deployed on Operation BILOXI have had their ability to keep fit significantly enhanced thanks to a generous grant from the RAF Central Fund enabling the purchase of two BeaverFit FOB lockers containing a ‘Gym in a Box’. Whilst deployed, personnel are usually provided with access to host nation gym facilities but these can sometimes be below par and extremely busy due to demand from other deployed nations. The new FOB10 Lockers, the first of their kind to be owned by the RAF, will enhance the provision of gym facilities on operations and ensure each deployment has 24/7 access to gym equipment.
CEO of the RAF Central Fund, Ross Perriam, says: “Our charity looks to support all serving personnel through the provision of access to sport and physical activities with a view to safeguarding their health and wellbeing. This is particularly true of those on deployment, who not only need to keep physically fit but mentally resilient too and we know exercise goes a long way to helping them destress and decompress whilst away from home. The new FOB lockers will support large numbers of personnel and we have already had lots of positive feedback following their arrival at Op BILOXI.”
Whilst personnel will always have access to local facilities, the provision of FOB Lockers will enhance their fitness programmes, classes and personal training programmes and enable the PEd staff to provide bespoke training packages which may not be possible using host nation facilities.
The new FOB Lockers will ensure RAF Personnel have access to first-class, robust and safe equipment that may not always be available whilst on deployment.
“Fitness classes are generally difficult to organise and dependent on availability of facilities and goodwill of the host nation,” explains the 11 Gp A1 Operations Project Officer behind the successful RAF Central Fund grant application, Warrant Officer John Risk. “The new FOB Lockers will ensure RAF Personnel have access to first-class, robust and safe equipment that may not always be available whilst on deployment.”
Recent deployments to operational theatres including Op AZOTIZE and Op BILOXI have highlighted the inadequacy of local gym facilities and whilst PJHQ assets have been shared for Joint Operations, these are not always available due to high demand from sister services. The two new BeaverFit FOB lockers will ensure the RAF has its own deployable ‘Gym in a Box’ to address the shortfall in facilities. The Lockers will be kept at RAF Wittering when not deployed and can be transported from the A4 Logistics hub by road, air or sea to any operational theatre worldwide.
On 20 March 2022 the lockers arrived in Romania and have been used extensively by the deployed personnel of 140 Expeditionary Air Wing, currently conducting the NATO enhanced Air Policing mission out there.
The BeaverFit FOB lockers have been used as a centre piece for organised circuits with many personnel also taking the opportunity to make use of them in their free time. Flt Lt Carey, one of many regular users, said “It’s great to have access to the fantastic BeaverFit lockers whilst deployed. They allow us to take a more structured approach to personal training, knowing that we have our own facility to do so thanks to the RAF Central Fund,” he added. “It’s been an essential morale booster during a busy Operation!”
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