HomeNewsArticle Display

Air Force to enhance physical fitness test, standards for select career fields

Master Sgt. Kyle Anderson, 3rd Air Support Operations Group, runs between two cones during a speed, strength and agility demonstration at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Jan. 9, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe Yanik)

Master Sgt. Kyle Anderson, 3rd Air Support Operations Group, runs between two cones during a speed, strength and agility demonstration at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Jan. 9, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe Yanik)

Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright (second from left) poises to launch a medicine ball over his head at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Jan. 9, 2018. Wright visited a demonstration for a new occupational fitness program performed by senior noncommissioned officers from across the special 
operations community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe Yanik)

Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright (second from left) poises to launch a medicine ball over his head at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Jan. 9, 2018. Wright visited a demonstration for a new occupational fitness program performed by senior noncommissioned officers from across the special operations community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe Yanik)

Senior Master Sgt. Kenneth Blakeney (second from left), 9th Air Support Operations Squadron, Fort Hood, Texas, launches a medicine ball at the fitness center at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Jan. 9, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe Yanik)

Senior Master Sgt. Kenneth Blakeney (second from left), 9th Air Support Operations Squadron, Fort Hood, Texas, launches a medicine ball at the fitness center at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Jan. 9, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe Yanik)

Senior noncommissioned officers from the Air Force's tactical air control party community stretch while participating in a new occupational fitness test demonstration at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Jan. 9, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe Yanik)

Senior noncommissioned officers from the Air Force's tactical air control party community stretch while participating in a new occupational fitness test demonstration at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Jan. 9, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe Yanik)

Master Sgt. Paul Foles (left), 17th Special Tactics Squadron, squeezes a dynamometer that measures grip strength during an occupational fitness demonstration performed by members of the Air Force's special 
operations community at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Jan. 9, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe Yanik)

Master Sgt. Paul Foles (left), 17th Special Tactics Squadron, squeezes a dynamometer that measures grip strength during an occupational fitness demonstration performed by members of the Air Force's special operations community at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Jan. 9, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe Yanik)

Master Sgt. Eric Rideaux, 9th Air Force, performs lunges using shoulder weights during a fitness demonstration for the Air Force's special operations community at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Jan. 9, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe Yanik)

Master Sgt. Eric Rideaux, 9th Air Force, performs lunges using shoulder weights during a fitness demonstration for the Air Force's special operations community at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Jan. 9, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe Yanik)

Master Sgt. Paul Foles, 17th Special Tactics Squadron, throws a medicine ball over his head during a strength and agility demonstration as part of the Air Force special operations community's new fitness assessment program at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Jan. 9, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe Yanik)

Master Sgt. Paul Foles, 17th Special Tactics Squadron, throws a medicine ball over his head during a strength and agility demonstration as part of the Air Force special operations community's new fitness assessment program at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Jan. 9, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe Yanik)

Master Sgt. James Blair, 12th Combat Training Squadron, performs a farmers drag during a strength and agility demonstration as part of the Air Force special operations community's new fitness assessment program at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Jan. 9, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe Yanik)

Master Sgt. James Blair, 12th Combat Training Squadron, performs a farmers drag during a strength and agility demonstration as part of the Air Force special operations community's new fitness assessment program at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Jan. 9, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe Yanik)

The Air Force began the rollout of Tier 2 physical training standards as more than 100 battlefield Airmen demonstrated new career field specific testing components at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, Jan. 9, 2018.

The adoption of the Tier 2 standards will exempt battlefield Airmen from three of the four components of the Air Force fitness assessment because their occupational fitness assessments already effectively measure the fitness required for their missions.

Air liaison officers and tactical air control party operators will soon see the implementation of new physical fitness test requirements, making them the first career fields in the Air Force to have occupationally-specific and operationally-relevant standards, as well as a second fitness assessment.

Officials stated these requirements will ensure operators have the necessary physical ability to perform critical job-related duties beyond what is required of Airmen on the current Air Force fitness assessment.

“ALO and TACP operators will be given a 12-month period after implementation to adapt to these new tests and standards before they are officially enforced,” said Dr. Neal Baumgartner, Air Force chief of the Exercise Science Unit.

According to Air Force Instruction 36-2905, Fitness Program, all Airmen are required to maintain a certain level of physical fitness in order to meet the science-based health and general fitness criterion standards of the Air Force-wide fitness assessment. Referred to as a Tier 1 physical fitness test, the Air Force-wide Fitness Assessment is designed to ensure Airmen are present for duty in overall good health.

“These Tier 1 scores are critical for all Airmen, but they do not necessarily reflect military task achievement,” Baumgartner said. “There are certain career fields, ALO and TACP for instance, that required much higher and broader levels of physical fitness to meet the demands of their operational mission sets. This is why we initiated additional science-based work to determine this additional set of fitness tests and standards, referred to as Tier 2, to more adequately assess unique, physically demanding Air Force specialty codes.”

With help and support from RAND Project AIR FORCE, the Exercise Science Unit, or ESU, began developing Tier 2 standards for battlefield Airmen operators in October 2011.

“To properly develop Tier 2 tests and standards, we performed five major steps to develop a final product: identify critical physical job tasks, develop fitness tests and physical task simulations, validate fitness tests and standards versus operational physical requirements, implement and verify these tests and standards, and finally document Tier 2 products and provide recommendations for policy during the adaptation period,” said Baumgartner.

While assessing physical job demands in Step 1, three focus groups of ALO and TACP operators were used to identify 44 ALO-TACP Critical Physical Tasks, or CPTs. These were reviewed and approved by senior leaders from the operational community and used as the foundation for the remaining four Tier 2 steps.

To execute the second step of developing physical fitness tests and physical task simulations, ESU used a systematic process that involved evaluating more than 100 physical fitness tests to create the Tier 2 Operator Prototype PF Test Battery, the final prototype consists of 10 test components. Each of these components is accompanied by descriptions highlighting the specific purpose of the test, muscle groups measured, protocol for administration, scoring and relevance – the operational capabilities predicted by the test.

“The important take-away here is that each of these 10 components have specific relevance to unique ALO-TACP operational mission sets,” said Master Sgt. Matthew Gruse, ESU NCO in charge. “The grip strength test for example measures muscular strength in the hands and forearms, but why? While some may see this as redundant to other test components, our study found grip strength plays a significant role in performing tasks such as litter carries, casualty drags and rescue sled pulls during casualty movement.”

Tier 2 Operator Prototype PF Test Battery components:
• Grip Strength
• Medicine Ball Toss, back and side
• Three Cone Drill
• Trap Bar Deadlift, 5 repetition maximum
• Pull-Up
• Lunges, weighted 50 pound, metronome
• Extended Cross Knee Crunch, metronome
• Farmer’s Carry, 2x50 pound, 100 yards
• Row Ergometer, 1000 meters
• Run, 1.5 miles

In addition to the test battery, ESU and RAND designed eight broad physical task simulations, or PTSs, to approximate the CPTs performed by ALO and TACP operators. Like the fitness test battery components, these simulations were developed in collaboration with special operators, reviewed by senior leaders, and pretested during a pilot study. PTSs provide a realistic approximation of physical operational actions ALO and TACP could be confronted with during an operational mission. During Step 3, the ESU tested 171 Airmen on both the fitness test battery and the PTSs, validating the linkage, and developed the top 10 fitness test components for predicting operational physical success.

Physical Task Simulation components:
• Rope Bridge
• Rope Ladder
• Cross Load Personnel and Equipment
• Casualty Movement
• Small Unit Tactics (Parts A – D)

Baumgartner noted that the scoring system is a prototype, and the ESU, in conjunction with ALO-TACP leadership, will adjust scoring per data collected in the Step 4 verification phase of testing. To complete Step 4, the ESU conducted final verification testing of the prototype tests and standards between January and February 2017 with 30 ALO-TACP operators.

While there were no women represented among those operators, officials clarified that women are eligible for either career field provided they meet all minimum standards outlined in respective qualifications summaries.

In the coming months, additional information will be made available to the Total Force on how to prepare for testing and how to improve physical readiness. The ESU is also updating their Exercise Principles and Methods, or EPM, Course to train ALO and TACP physical leaders. The EPM Course includes recommendations and specific activities to better address weaknesses and build on strengths made clear by the Tier 2 test.

“Members can contact their unit physical training leader or strength and conditioning coach for feedback on form and techniques, and may contact us in the ESU regarding other questions they might have about the final Tier 2 ALO-TACP operator tests and standards,” said Baumgartner.

For more information about fitness programs, visit the Air Force Personnel Center website.

Engage

Facebook Twitter
DYK: Aircraft have lifespans! Like humans, they require check-ups in the form of maintenance inspections to prolong their ability to fly. These "checks" prevent in-flight system failures which ultimately protects aircrew and passengers. Learn more from the 86th Maintenance Squadron at Ramstein Air Base, Germany on what it takes to correct issues so aircraft can stay airborne.
WATCH: United States Air Force pilots talk about the importance of Exercise Saber Strike 18 as they refuel over the Baltic Sea on June 18, 2018. Saber Strike 18 is a long-standing training exercise designed to enhance interoperability between the U.S. and our allies. The training focused on improving land and air operational capabilities between the U.S. and our NATO allies. (U.S. Air National Guard video by: Master Sgt. Wolfram M. Stumpf)
Check out some shots from yesterday's All-Star Armed Services Classic Championship softball game in Washington, D.C. This event, part of MLB’s All-Star Week, pays tribute to the men and women of the Armed Forces. Washington Nationals U.S. Army
Air Force and U.S. Army coed softball teams render military honors during the playing of the National Anthem during the All-Star Armed Services Classic Championship softball game, Washington, D.C., July 13, 2018. This event, part of MLB’s All-Star Week, pays tribute to the men and women of the Armed Forces. Washington Nationals
Great way to lead by example!
The United States Air Force is facing a pilot shortage. To help solve the challenge, the Aircrew Crisis Task Force was recently created to provide strategic direction and actionable recommendations to senior leaders on how to solve the aircrew manning crisis. FULL STORY: https://go.usa.gov/xUb3z
Your United States Air Force news: ✓ A B-52 crew assists in a search and rescue operation off the coast of Guam ✓ An Afghan pilot class graduates in the Czech Republic ✓ The Air Force is using innovative approaches to training pilots to make the process faster and more efficient
Now that’s how weathermen work! Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters fly weather reconnaissance missions into Tropical Storm Chris and Tropical Storm Beryl. http://www.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1569944/hurricane-hunters-fly-tropical-storms-beryl-chris/
The F-22 Raptor's combination of stealth, supercruise, maneuverability, and integrated avionics, coupled with improved supportability, represents an exponential leap in warfighting capabilities. The F-22 cannot be matched by any known or projected fighter aircraft. Maintaining these aircraft can involve a bit of a learning curve. Airmen at KadenaAirBase use past technology to help learn how to work with the undefeated Raptor. FULL STORY: http://www.kadena.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1567295/hard-to-raptor-head-around/
Help us out! Can you caption this photo?
The B-52 Stratofortress has sniper pods that provide improved long-range target detection/identification and continuous stabilize surveillance for all missions, including close air support of ground forces. Air Force Global Strike Command crew members on a B-52 were able to spot a historic Pacific Island style canoe so that the U.S. Coast Guard could rescue the six passengers!
For the past 60 years, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, has continually helped us maintain a technological edge against our advarsaries. Together with the Air Force Research Laboratory - AFRL, a fusion of ideas is leading to newly highlighted innovations.
SOUND ON! Celebrate freedom with the sound of freedom! Happy Independence Day!
The #USAF partnered with @DeptVetAffairs to implement the first Women’s Health Transition Pilot Program! Check out… https://t.co/mdlKYrV5Wg
The apple doesn't fall far from the tree! This Washington #AirNationalGuard #Airman followed her mother's footsteps… https://t.co/PCto8QNH9L
This year's #AirForce Legacy Series alternate uniform is so good looking, it's Spooky. #AC130 #LetsFly #Football https://t.co/MlBfXciboD
RT @HQ_AFMC: Check out the finalist video from @WrightPattAFB's Ryan Law and SrA Jean-Paul Arnaud-Marquez in the @AETCommand "We are Airmen…
#AirForce, @USArmy and Polish paratroopers participate in the annual Aviation Rotation bilateral training over Pola… https://t.co/Lz1rp4orUO
It takes a team to accomplish the mission! This #Airman strengthens her flight through her commitment to bodybuildi… https://t.co/6Me0JrHILM
The #AirForce’s ability to respond faster than our adversaries relies on the talent and leadership of #Airmen. This… https://t.co/i5ZMsQTKbe
.@MacDill_AFB #Airmen answered the call, provided support to a critical #AirForce mission. https://t.co/arv5pu9szU https://t.co/qTIMzxskqF
The multi-national, joint training #NorthernStrike 18 is underway at Grayling Army Airfield, MI. With over 5,000 pa… https://t.co/izwdzk37tC
After getting an eagle-eye view of the #JPARC at @EielsonAirForce, @SecAFOfficial spoke to #Airmen, civilians and t… https://t.co/6XNlXYfKSA
RT @DeptofDefense: Fill ‘er up! ⛽ This @USAirForce F-15E gets refueled in the air from a KC-135 Stratotanker while flying over the #US. htt…
The odds that these two brothers have the opportunity to serve together at the same base, let alone the same squadr… https://t.co/yk1TdruHes
It's that time again! Check out the most recent edition of #WIP. https://t.co/4CLv053giP https://t.co/LtHdImGG1S
#ICYMI: #VCSAF met with inaugural class of the #AirForce’s Aviation, Character and Education Flight Program that re… https://t.co/MrvtNjAn1p
As a apart of the continuous effort to develop leaders in a technical environment, the #AirForce is seeking nominat… https://t.co/hqtX7NP5FQ
For the first time Logistics Readiness Squadron #Airmen from @48FighterWing & @RAFMildenhall steer through Continge… https://t.co/wjICAnLrHK
RT @AFResearchLab: Ready to experience 9 times the force of gravity? We are. Just cut the ribbon on the @DeptofDefense's only human-rated…
Members from the Naha Air Base fire department test the force of water from a hose during joint live-fire training… https://t.co/Udl9zsPbxS
A tradition of honor! The Cisna family's #USAF service goes back four generations - since the #AirForce's inception… https://t.co/vaM6jn9sGm