Beginning in April, the U.S. Navy Installations Command will extend fitness center and child care hours at three U.S. naval bases as part of a pilot program to provide greater services to sailors. The Navy will evaluate the extended hours after six months and then decide whether to roll them out systemwide.
The three locations selected for the pilot program: Naval Base in Bremerton, WA, Joint Expeditionary Base in Little Creek, VA, and Naval Station in San Diego, CA.
"The pilot program in Bremerton will include extended hours for Child Youth Programs at the Child Development Center and the fitness center," James Baker, division chief for Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) at Navy Installations Command, said in a press release from Navy Installations Command Public Affairs. "The pilot will also include extended hours at fitness centers at other selected bases in Little Creek and San Diego."
The locations for the pilot were chosen because of their proximity in fleet concentration areas where work requirements extend beyond a normal work day. Centers will be open as early as 4 a.m., in order to serve personnel whose workday sometimes begins as early as 5 a.m.
Child Youth Program hours in Bremerton will expand by four hours Monday through Friday, operating from 4 a.m. until 8 p.m. at the Child Development Center. Fitness center hours at each location will expand from 90 to 118 hours per week; fitness centers will be open Monday through Friday from 4 a.m. until 10 p.m., and on the weekends from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m.
The Navy will measure usage and staffing levels required to support the extended hours and determine whether the expanded hours can be affordably extended to other facilities across the Navy.
The initiative, Baker said, is in keeping with the Navy's 21st Century Sailor and Marine initiative to provide services across a spectrum of readiness and wellness areas to enhance combat effectiveness.