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Airmen transition into new fitness program

RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- As Airmen begin transitioning into the new testing cycle this month, officials worked to publish the new Air Force instruction to the Air Force Publications Web site Jan. 12, with an effective date of July 1.

Air Force officials unveiled the new fitness program in August while still completing a rigorous schedule to collect feedback, coordinate the instruction and publish it by its original Jan. 1 target date. Incorporating some of the most significant changes to the fitness program in the last five years, Air Force leaders in November delayed the effective date for the new scoring system while implementing a hybrid approach that incorporated the biannual testing cycle.

"The hybrid approach gives active-duty Airmen time to train to the new standard and understand requirements outlined in the new instruction," said Chief Master Sgt. Mark Long, the Air Force's chief of enlisted promotions, evaluations and fitness policy. "It also demonstrates the Air Force leadership's commitment to improve our standards while holding Airmen accountable for their scores throughout the transition period."

Chief Long said the hybrid approach also allows time for commanders to establish base fitness assessment cells and hire more than 250 civilian fitness testing technicians across the Air Force.

In addition to an increase in testing frequency and establishment of fitness assessment cells to proctor tests, Airmen learned last summer of the significant change and increased emphasis being placed on the aerobic component in scoring. The new Air Force instruction sets minimum requirements for each component in addition to requiring Airmen achieve a passing score of 75 or greater.

In an Air Force fitness interim guidance memorandum published Jan. 6, Airmen testing through June 2010 under the present scoring standards will receive two score cards. The first score card will be calculated using present score charts and will be loaded into the Air Force Fitness Management System. This score will be used to document evaluation reports as "Meets" or "Does Not Meet" standards or "Exempt."

The second score card will be calculated using the new score charts that become effective in July and serves as a means for Airmen and commanders to gauge performance under the new scoring system.

During the hybrid period, Air Force Reserve Airmen will fitness test 12 months after their 2009 test date, then again 6 months later to progress to a biannual cycle. Air National Guard Airmen on active duty and drill status will fitness test 12 months after their last 2009 test date.

The new fitness program has been reclassified from a 10-series instruction to Air Force Instruction 36-2905, Fitness Program, and the new fitness standards become effective for all Airmen July 1.

To learn more about the new fitness program and view scoring components that become effective in July, visit www.afpc.randolph.af.mil/affitnessprogram.