Human Performance Optimization team bolster Pathfinders health, wellness

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Eugene Oliver
  • 501st Combat Support Wing Public Affairs

The 501st Combat Support Wing Human Performance Optimization team recently became an integral part of the wing's readiness to effectively accomplish the mission.

The HPO team uses various methods to integrate with units across the wing providing Airmen additional resources for improving their mental and physical readiness.

“The HPO mission is to provide a holistic approach to improving all Airmen’s performance and readiness through direct investments in their fitness and personal wellness,” said Lt. Col. Abraham Poston, 501st CSW HPO officer. “Our current team is composed of Strength and Conditioning coaches focused on fitness, nutrition and wellness.

“We also have Clinical Social Workers focused on personal coaching, resilience and facilizing connection to supportive resources.”

The HPO team is currently embedded with the 423d Security Forces Squadron where they offer tailored guidance to better meet unit member needs.

“We will provide each member the opportunity to have individualized discussions to identify strengths and needs related to physical, personal and family readiness needs and focus on areas of personal performance,” said Poston. “We will work with Physical Training leaders and conduct group PT. Additionally, group discussion and training will be provided.

“HPO uses several factors to prioritize units to embed with and we have a robust calendar that will allow us to embed with units on RAF Alconbury, Croughton, Fairford, Molesworth and Welford.”

As part of their embeds, the HPO also plans to bring mobile gyms to each unit they visit, giving Airmen the opportunity to train in a wider variety of ways at geographically separated installations.

“The 501st is spread across several locations in the UK, and each has varying degrees of physical training capabilities,” said Poston. “BeaverFit provides a fully mobile training center for at least 30 members to train at any one time with our strength and conditioning coaches.

“When you combine the portability of this gym system and the relatively mild weather of the UK we can effectively provide physical training and conditioning at any of our locations across the UK.”

Poston emphasized HPO overall goals and how they plan to help other support agencies across the wing.

“Over the long term, HPO engagement looks to result in reducing the number of days lost to preventable injuries, reduce profiles, reduce individual stress and improve team dynamics,” said Poston. “HPO is also closely engaged with Health Promotion, Mental Health, Chaplains and all the available community support.

“We will also facilitate connection to any helping agencies to strengthen support systems across the wing.”

Although the HPO team works away from their main office for extended periods, they will remain available for Airmen to make appointments.

To schedule an appointment with a strength and conditioning coach or an individual coaching session focused on other aspects of personal performance, members can call Steven Gonzalez at DSN 268-1504.