'Tis the season to shred ... and prevent injury

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Javier Cruz
  • 14th Flying Training Wing

COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss.-- During the month of December, it is commonplace to see holiday decorations and colored lights on trees near the 14th Flying Training Wing Headquarters, but something was different this year. The sleek black silhouette of the True North Plus mobile gym surrounded by Airmen in exercise attire on a brisk winter morning was a curious sight indeed.   

True North Plus is a holistic education program that embeds within squadrons for a set period, typically between four months to a year or longer as needed. The primary focus is to improve Airmen Readiness by addressing key areas: injury prevention, basic nutrition, mental health, strength, and conditioning. The results are reflected through improved Air Force Fitness Testing scores and body composition.  

“By addressing these cornerstones of readiness we look to improve performance in all areas as well as quality of life,” said Mike Inman, 14th Medical Group True North Plus team strength and conditioning coach. “At the beginning of our embedment process we take anonymous survey data with the squadron we are working within and aim to tailor our approach to the specific needs and demands that are presented to us.” 

The True North Plus mobile team and gym provide introductory education focused on teaching and instruction of the major movements the body performs. This process is supported by an assessment that can be customized to provide key insights to overall strength, conditioning, mobility, power, and muscular endurance.  

“Once the data is collected; we provide in house training to squadron members designed to improve any weak points that the assessment may have identified as well as preserve any strengths highlighted,” said Inman. “True North Plus approaches squadrons in need from data provided by the 711th Human Performance Wing and wing commander recommendations. The mobile gym is our current solution to be able to integrate with squadrons and always having a ready training option available. In the future, following an embedment, squadrons can have their PTL trained by the strength and conditioning coach, and guidance can be provided if the squadron wants to purchase their own mobile gym or create a dedicated space to physical training.”