January 25, 2006:
The U.S. Marine Corps just opened a new gym in Okinawa. The 54,000 square foot facility replaces an older, and much smaller, facility that was built in 1973. The new gym has an 11,000 square foot weight and cardiovascular room. The gear is the same found in commercial gyms, including the TV screens. There's also a martial arts room, an aerobics room, eight racquetball courts, a cycling room, sauna and steam rooms. On the second floor there is basketball/volleyball court. New locker rooms include a much larger one for women. There is also an internet café, with high speed connections and a wifi network. At the opening ceremony, the facility was described as "air force quality." Since its inception, the air force has striven to provide the highest quality accommodations and facilities for its troops. In this, it has largely succeeded. Thus the remark about "air force quality." The old Okinawa gym had about 300 visitors a week. The new one is expected to get several times that.