Utah Air Guard hosts Wingman Day with NBC's "Biggest Loser" film crew
By Maj. Krista DeAngelis, 151st ARW/PA
/ Published March 13, 2011
SALT LAKE CITY -- What do "Waldo" Waldman, a KC-135 pull competition and NBC's Biggest Loser all have in common? They were all part of the Utah Air National Guard's 2011 Winter Wingman Day on March 12.
As part of the Guard's focus on the health and wellness of Airmen and their families, the 151st Air Refueling Wing hosted the event fully equipped with a motivational speaker, health fair and aircraft competition - all while NBC's Biggest Loser Pound for Pound Challenge film crew taped segments for an upcoming episode set to air April 5.
"The purpose of Winter Wingman Day was to create a pause in the day-to-day mission of Air Guardsmen in order to reinforce the 'wingman' concept of looking out for each other and help us build resilient Airmen, as well as focus on unit health," explained Col. Samuel Ramsay, 151st Air Refueling Wing commander.
Burgandy Keel, wife of a Utah National Guard member and contestant on the Biggest Loser Season 10, was the catalyst to several of the activities hosted during Winter Wingman Day.
"The theme of our season of the Biggest Loser was 'pay it forward,' so I wanted to find a way to give back to the community by creating a health fair," explained Keel. "I partnered with the Pound for Pound Challenge and the Utah National Guard to come up with a way to help the military."
Keel worked with Lt. Col. Lisa Olsen, 151st ARW Community Manager and fitness coordinator, to organize the health fair for Airmen and their families.
"Our health fair hosted a variety of vendors throughout the area that provided an array of health and fitness information to our members," explained Lt. Col. Olsen. "As a precursor to the event, the Utah Air National Guard created a local Pound for Pound Challenge where every pound of weight members pledge to lose, the organization donated one pound of groceries to the local food bank."
With nearly 150 PFP members, the Utah ANG pledged to lose a combined weight of over 2,500 pounds. The Utah ANG team is the largest contributor to this charity program within the state of Utah, and ranks 21st nationally. Twenty-five-hundred pounds of groceries will go directly to the Utah Food Bank.
NBC's Biggest Loser PFP Challenge Film crew documented several of the Wingman events, including the health fair, as part of a follow-up story on Keel.
"I thought the health fair was a great success, and it was nice to see families learning how to be fit and live healthier lifestyles," added Keel.
The event kicked off with a motivational presentation by Lt. Col. Rob "Waldo" Waldman, a former F-16 pilot and motivational speaker. "Waldo" revved up his audiences with a speech about the wingman concept and looking out for one another. After the health fair festivities, the day concluded with a KC-135 pull competition where Airmen from the maintenance and logistics readiness squadrons competed to see who could pull the plane 40 feet in the quickest time frame.
Both teams tied the contest.