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NEWS | Nov. 25, 2015

Physical Therapy and Security Forces - side by side

By Airman 1st Class Thomas T. Charlton 628th Air Base Wing/Public Affairs

The 628th Medical Group's Physical Therapy clinic staff does what they can to ensure mission capability and readiness for all members of Joint Base Charleston - Air Base, S.C.

On Nov. 23, 2015, members of the physical therapy clinic immersed themselves with the 628th Security Forces Squadron to better assess how they handled physical therapy and how they could improve physical training sessions.

Captain Joshua Van Wyngaarden, 628th MDG Physical Therapy flight commander, said, "About two and a half months ago, Sergeant Wielgosiek was coined by the expeditionary commander. The commander asked him, if he could do anything different, what it would be? Wielgosiek responded by saying he wanted to immerse the physical therapy group with security forces to see what could be done to help their physical being. With that, we started running with it and arranging dates. All in all, it took about two and a half months to plan and execute."

To get this research experiment up and running, Van Wyngaarden had to accomplish a few tasks.

"First it was arranging meetings between all of the commanders involved, getting schedules blocked, having gear issued to our personnel and overall just coordinating with security forces," said Van Wyngaarden.

By going on patrol, standing duty at the gates and performing a small exercise at the Security Forces building, the 628th MDG got a new perspective on the Security Forces career field.

"We've definitely gained a greater appreciation for what Security Forces does," Van Wyngaarden said, "Because of this, we will be able to sympathize and treat their injuries better, as well as changing or influencing their fitness program to have better handling of gear injury-wise and profile injured individuals more appropriately."

Van Wyngaarden will share the information compiled from this research with the involved commanders.

Van Wyngaarden said, "I will be holding an after action meeting with Lieutenant Colonel Brian Neese, 628th Medical Operations Squadron commander, Lieutenant Colonel Warren Brainard, 628th SFS commander and Col. Margret Jones, 628th MDG commander to discuss what we learned and how we can help these fine men and women improve their physical well-being."

The research was beneficial in a number of ways for the physical therapy personnel.
"Being able to reach out to other squadrons with a more physical approach will allow us to help shape the best fitness and injury prevention programs for individual squadrons. Specifically tailored fitness programs will improve our Airmen's capabilities and have them mission ready while keeping them on their feet as much as possible."

Developing the most appropriate workout and injury assessment programs by group, squadron or unit could create a huge efficiency boost for all military personnel at JB Charleston.