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Fitness test is back with a new look

(Front left) Staff Sgt. April Prine, 919th Special Operations Logistics Readiness Squadron Individual Protective Equipment supervisor and members of the 919th Special Operations Wing participate in the Air Force physical fitness test, July 11, 2021. Each Airman are to complete as many push-ups in one minute. After completing the push-ups, the Airmen had the sit-ups requirement, and a 1.5-mile run to complete the AF physical fitness test. (U.S. Air Force photo by Michelle Gigante)

(Front left) Staff Sgt. April Prine, 919th Special Operations Logistics Readiness Squadron Individual Protective Equipment supervisor, and members of the 919th Special Operations Wing participate in the Air Force physical fitness test, July 11, 2021. During this component, each Airman is to complete as many push-ups as possible in one minute. After completing the push-ups, the Airmen performed the sit-ups requirement and a 1.5-mile run to complete the Air Force physical fitness test. (U.S. Air Force photo by Michelle Gigante)

DUKE FIELD, Fla. -- Airmen at the 919th Special Operations Wing will notice some changes to the scoring for the Air Force fitness test, which resumed July 1, 2021 after a lengthy pandemic-induced delay.

“The biggest change is the separation of the body composition [waist measurement] from the aerobic and muscular portion of the fitness test,” said Jessie Ecklund, 919th Special Operations Wing fitness facility manager.

Without the waist measurement as a scored component, point values for push-ups and sit-ups increased from 10 to 20 points each, while the 1.5-mile run remains at 60 points.

The waist measurement will resume Oct. 1, but no longer be required as part of the physical [aerobic and muscular] fitness test.

Effective immediately, scoring for all graded categories falls into five-year age groups, as opposed to the previous 10.

Citizen Air Commandos will have to adjust to the changes following several months in which gyms were closed during 2020 and the many delays from the pandemic.

“It was hard to train last year,” said Master Sgt. Valerie Moody, 2nd Special Operations Squadron aviation resource manager. “As a TR [Traditional Reservist], I have been training every year to get that [an overall score of] 90. It’s been two years now, but I finally accomplished it.”

Airmen can expect additional changes for the fitness test in January 2021. New testing options such as a shuttle run as an alternative to long distance running or performing planks as an alternative measure of core strength are just a few of the ideas being discussed.

Airmen can schedule their fitness assessment through their Unit Fitness Monitor to complete the requirement. Traditional Reservists can always perform their fitness test during the UTA on the month they are slated to test.

“When on duty, Airman are eligible to perform a fitness assessment at any time,” said Ecklund. "As long as they have orders, they can request a specific date and time."

The fitness test is offered Wednesdays and Fridays at the Duke Field Gym with a start time of 8 a.m. and wrap-up around 9:30 a.m. with the running component at the 7th Special Forces gym. Members must be scheduled if they intend to test outside of the drill weekend. For UTAs, the start time is of 6 a.m. from May through September and switches to 6:30 a.m. during October through April due to Daylight Savings Time.

In the meantime, Ecklund encourages Citizen Air Commandos to reach out to their local communities and gyms to prepare for the Air Force fitness test.

“Keep a healthy diet, keep active, continue coming to the gym for cardio, strength and conditioning,” said Ecklund. “I think it will help make it easier for [Airmen] to attain their goals for the fitness assessment as well as help them in their [day-to-day] jobs.”