HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — The 419th Fighter Wing has more than 1,200 Airmen who have sworn to protect and defend the United States whenever they are needed. It’s a tall order to ensure each of those Airmen are fit to fight both at home and abroad, but the 419th Sustainment Services Flight does just that.
The 15 reservists in the SVF specialize in food services, fitness centers, and lodging. Each of these has a unique mission to support Airmen in performing their jobs at the highest level possible.
“If you were to compare Services to a job in the civilian sector, we would look like a high-end resort that manages hotel rooms, sports complexes, fitness centers, and restaurants,” said Master Sgt. Toni Paine, 419th SVF chief. “Our Airmen are qualified to be hotel general managers, personal trainers, gym directors, and executive chefs.”
The fitness section coordinates physical fitness tests, manages the Fitness Improvement Program, and offers resources and other events such as 5K runs, powerlifting competitions, half marathons, CrossFit challenges, and other recreational activities.
“Our job is to provide mission-ready Airmen by ensuring they meet fitness standards and are ready to deploy to combatant commanders,” said Tech. Sgt. Laura Poppie, Fitness Assessment Cell assistant manager. “Being physically fit impacts more than just the physical – it helps with your mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being, and in Services, we strive to help Airmen in all those aspects of life.”
Food also plays a large part in ensuring good quality of life to Airmen, and the SVF works before and after the regular duty day to meet that need.
“Food is not just something we eat, it’s an overall experience,” said Tech. Sgt. Rachel Sparrow, 419th SVF prime rib manager. “We want our Airmen to have a positive and enjoyable experience when they come to us, because they get put in some very stressful situations, and sometimes the best part of their day is sitting down and enjoying a meal with their friends in our facilities.”
Apart from managing the fitness and food programs, the SVF is responsible for 419th FW lodging. Services personnel coordinate on- and off-base lodging for Airmen who travel more than 50 miles for drill weekends, and they also help manage the base hotel.
“Our mission in services is to bring quality of life to our Airmen from cradle to grave so they can maintain mission readiness,” Paine said. “At the end of the day, I want to know that I’ve helped somebody by making sure they have a quality place to lay their head at night, great food to eat, and a variety of recreational activities and events to keep them happy and healthy.”