A state-of-the-art, 6,808-square-foot fitness center has opened at the Delaware National Guard Bethany Beach Training Site off Route 1.
Guard members and officers were joined by Sen. Chris Coons, elected officials, representatives of veterans’ groups, the Patriot Guard Riders and staff of contractor Delmarva Veteran Builders May 15 to celebrate the opening and cut a ribbon.
The $3.25 million fitness center will provide all-weather space for completion of the occupational physical assessment test and the new Army Combat Fitness Test, as well as offer cardio and weight training to soldiers, airmen and their families when at the site.
Delaware National Guard Adj. Gen. Michael Berry, who spent one-third of his career at the Bethany Beach site and left as commander, said the previous physical fitness test comprised pull-ups, sit-ups and running two miles. “The new test is a great program and not something you can do in an hour,” he said.
Berry said the new center will help recruit young people to the National Guard. “What a great story we can tell to our younger generation,” he said.
The new test events are completed in the following order: maximum deadlift, standing power throw, hand-release push-ups, sprint-drag-carry, leg tuck and two-mile run.
The test, which is required of all National Guard members as of April 1, determines muscular strength and power, cardiovascular endurance, muscle stamina, core strength and stamina, and speed and agility.
“The world is moving fast, and we can’t do it alone,” Berry said. “Our entire congressional delegation’s support has been phenomenal.”
Coons, who is chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that funds State Department and foreign operations, said the investment allows soldiers to be among the best in the world for whatever the future brings.
“This is a first-class investment in our men and women in a first-class facility,” he said. “It’s the least we could do for those who put themselves on the line for us.”
The Bethany Beach site includes the 193rd Regiment Regional Training Institute and serves as a campground with permanent trailers available to active and retired National Guard members.