Running on Air

The 374th Medical Group at Yokota AB, Japan, received the Air Force’s first zero-gravity treadmill, designed by AlterG of Fremont, Calif., incorporating NASA-developed technology. The high-tech machine can help speed an airman’s recovery process following an injury or surgery to a lower extremity, such as a knee, ankle, or foot. The user steps into a bubble skirt in which the air pressure can be adjusted to gently lift the user to varying degrees to counter the user’s body weight. “It’s a great tool to help really see people progress through rehab at a shorter period of time,” said Maj. Jeremy Skabelund, 374th Surgical Operations Squadron physical medicine element chief. The American Red Cross donated the treadmill as part of its military outreach program. Yokota officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the treadmill on May 11 (Yokota report by A1C Katrina R. Menchaca)