Civil Engineering Squadron host PT games Published Sept. 26, 2013 By Master Sgt. Dave Buttner 146th Airlift Wing 09/07/2013- CHANNEL ISLANDS AIR NATIONAL GUARD STATION, Port Hueneme, Calif. -- Members of the 146th Civil Engineering Squadron have been using a not-so-new technique in getting ready for the annual Physical Training Assessment (PTA) and are making it a lot more fun. In the last couple of months, the squadron has taken part in a variety of non-conventional exercises to get ready for their test and are planning to continue doing so every month of drill. This approach was the brainchild of Master Sgt. Kelly Abbott and Staff Sgt. Jeff Toyne. The idea behind this new programming is to"create an atmosphere that makes members look forward to the entire PTA process" according to Civil Engineering's First Sergeant, Master Sgt. Don Simmons. Each month was filled with different challenges. August events included a tractor-tire-flipping race, tug-o-war, jumping rope and a pushup competition. During July drill weekend, they ran the perimeter road marked with cones that designated stops for different exercises. One cone, for example, was sit-ups, another jumping jacks while another was squats. The idea was to make the exercise more than just pushups and sit-ups, which is what the physical training assessment consists of. "We try to mix it up and encourage a healthy lifestyle while having fun," said Simmons. At the end of each monthly event a set of three trophies is awarded to the members who do the most push-ups in three categories: less than the age of 40, over 40 and women's division. The trophies are held by the winner's duty section through the following month when the rest of the squadron has the opportunity to win the trophies for their own section. Currently, the trophies are being held for the second month in a row by Master Sgt. Francisco Gutierrez, Master Sgt. Kelly Abbot and Staff Sgt. Roppert Beltran. So far, they are proving to be the toughest of the bunch. Master Sgt. Simmons noted that the overall PTA results are trending upward and "that is what we are working to accomplish."