– Maintaining peak combat readiness begins and ends with healthy, motivated and well-trained Airmen. On Nov. 19, the Air Force's deputy chief of staff for manpower and personnel announced the new Air Force fitness standards will officially begin July 1, 2010.
Lt. Gen. Richard Y. Newton III said the services top leaders sought feedback from commanders and senior NCO leaders throughout the Air Force when deciding to execute the updated program that will test Airmen twice during calendar year 2010 — once under the current program and once under the new program.
"Based on feedback from the field, we are implementing the July start date so Airmen have the opportunity to excel," General Newton said. "This implementation strategy will allow for a smoother transition of the new Air Force Instruction and afford commanders adequate time to establish installation fitness assessment cells to include adequate manning for the FACs."
According to General Newton, a new AFI detailing the new fitness standards is due out within the next few weeks. This fitness AFI is the first to cover the total force of active duty, Guard and Reserve.
The general added that the July start date will provide commanders and Airmen plenty of time to be prepared and in compliance with the new AFI.
"We want to do this right," General Newton said. "It's about readiness and our continued commitment to ensure we have a Fit Force, ready to perform its global mission."
Col. Joan H. Garbutt, chief of military force management for Air Staff Manpower and Personnel, said the new start date for the new fitness standards will "set our Airmen up for success." She believes Airmen will excel with the new standards.
"Every time you raise the bar, our Airmen reach higher to meet the standards," Colonel Garbutt said.
Biannual physical fitness testing will begin Jan. 1 using current fitness standards. Units with FACs will use them to conduct the assessments. Units without FACs will continue to use their physical training leaders, or PTLs, to assess Airmen. Enlisted and officer performance reports will reflect fitness training scores based upon their reports close out dates, General Newton added.
According to the change, during the Jan. 1 to June 30 testing phase, unit PTLs will provide two scores — one for the current system and one for the new standard so Airmen can gauge their performance. Starting July 1, Airmen will officially test under new requirements with the new scoring. Scores will be annotated on EPRs and OPRs accordingly.
Under the new standards, the aerobic run will count for 60 percent of the test. Body composition will count for 20 percent. Under the current standard, they count for 50 and 30 percent, respectively. The sit-up and push-ups remain at 10 percent each. The new standards have differently valued waist measurements and 15 seconds, rather than 30, separating run scores.
Passing the test will require a composite score of 75 while also meeting a minimum level for each component. The new physical fitness test will place Airmen in one of five age groups: less than 30, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59 and 60-plus. Results will fall into one of three categories: 90 and above, excellent; 75-90, satisfactory; and under 75, unsatisfactory.
Information on the Air Force fitness program is online at www.afpc.randolph.af.mil/affitnessprogram/index.asp.