Fort Belvoir opens new Human Performance Center

By Margaret Steele, Fort Belvoir Garrison Public AffairsNovember 17, 2021

Officials at Fort Belvoir cut a ribbon, opening Specker Human Performance Center. 

From left, Sheila Edwards, DFMWR Sports and Fitness director; Col. Josh SeGraves, Fort Belvoir Garrison commander; George Dickson, DFMWR director; Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Greg Kleinholz; and Dr. John Moeller, deputy to the garrison commander
Officials at Fort Belvoir cut a ribbon, opening Specker Human Performance Center.

From left, Sheila Edwards, DFMWR Sports and Fitness director; Col. Josh SeGraves, Fort Belvoir Garrison commander; George Dickson, DFMWR director; Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Greg Kleinholz; and Dr. John Moeller, deputy to the garrison commander (Photo Credit: Fort Belvoir DFMWR)
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Price of admission? Three leg tucks

What once was a field house on Fort Belvoir, Va., has evolved into Specker Human Performance Center, complete with six lanes of turf to accommodate needs for the Army Combat Fitness Test. But, Specker can also help all community members meet their fitness goals and build overall resilience.

Sheila Edwards, sports and fitness director at Belvoir MWR, said Specker is ongoing proof of MWR’s commitment to Soldiers’ evolving fitness needs and to one of MWR’s missions of providing readiness-centered, physical fitness options.

“Re-opening Specker as a human performance center is awesome,” Edwards said. “It was such a team effort, with equipment storage and moves.” Some of Specker’s equipment, including weights and exercise machines, used to be in Belvoir’s Kawamura HPC. “This is a great, state-of-the-art facility. It’s Specker 2.0,” adding it’s the 4th fitness facility she’s opened on Belvoir.

“It’s exciting to have this great place, where everyone can come and just get stronger,” she said.

George Dickson, Belvoir DFMWR director, said renovations to Specker continue MWR’s commitment to sustain, train and ensure total mission readiness for the country’s warfighters. He said the need for adequate training space quickly outgrew Kawamura HPC’s capacity.

“As a field house, Specker was integral to Belvoir for many decades, dating to 1988,” Dickson said. The newest human performance center on Belvoir is named after Sgt. Joe C. Specker, a Combat Engineer who earned the Medal of Honor for his actions in Mount Porchia, Italy, in January 1944.

“The renovations to Specker Human Performance Center show our continued commitment to finding ways to make the lives of our Soldiers, Service members and their Families, better,” Dickson said.

“Having a facility that’s dedicated to cultivating an environment of health and performance demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the community,” Dickson said.

Sgt. 1st Class Anielka Ortiz is a logistician and unit deployment manager for the deployment support branch at Defense Logistics Agency headquarters, a mission partner on Fort Belvoir.

“The facility is so well-equipped. I love it all,” Ortiz said at the opening. “Everything here adds to our resilience and strength training. This space is great, especially the turf lanes.” Ortiz trains and tests about 30 personnel.

Col. Josh SeGraves, Belvoir Garrison commander, said he was lucky to be able to see the new center open, after 13 months of renovations, and lauded the team effort needed to make all the improvements.

“Everything you need is right here,” SeGraves said. “The options available for the community of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen and family members, especially during inclement weather, is incredible. Not only individuals, but local units will benefit from Specker Human Performance Center … which will soon prove to be a huge asset for the entire community, as they start to see their ACFT training pay off and their numbers get better.”

SeGraves added that everyone’s price of admission for a follow-on facility tour was three leg tucks per person, from one of Specker’s new pull-up bars.

Specker Human Performance Center has 23,000 square feet of equipment, including stationary bikes, tires, wall balls and kettle bells; expanded locker rooms; rig space; rowers and climbers. It’s open at 1182 12th St., Fort Belvoir, Va., and can be reached by calling 703-806-4430 or 4647. The staff there is trained and can help units and individuals.