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43rd CPTS sets the bar high for PT

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Cammie Quinn
  • 43rd Airlift Wing, Public Affairs
Pope Airmen are transitioning to the new Air Force Fitness Program testing cycle that promotes and supports a year-round fitness culture.

"The chief of staff wants a fitness program that is clear, understandable, and much simpler, and we are assisting AMC Airmen with the transition to the new program," said Capt. Heather Sullivan, deputy chief for the AMC Sustainment Services Branch.

As a way to step ahead of the changes and stay in shape, Airmen in the 43rd Comptroller Squadron participate in several physical activities throughout the week. 2nd Lt. Matthew Miller, 43rd CPTS Physical Training Leader discussed his squadron's PT policy and program and how it helps keep his squadron active, healthy and focused.

"As Airmen, we are trained to perform in the deployed environment," said Lieutenant Miller. "If Airmen are not in peak shape, they may struggle in the Area of Responsibility due to the heat and long hours." Plus, being fit makes life more enjoyable, he added.

The 43rd CPTS meets early in the morning three times a week for physical training and incorporates group PT throughout the week. They are also very active in Pope intramural sports and have set up an intramural soccer team this year.

"We are playing once or twice each week during lunch, and we practice in the evenings after work," said Lieutenant Miller. "It's a great time for us to get out in the sun and compete."

Lieutenant Miller is optimistic about the changes in PT testing, and believes it helps Airmen avoid just gearing up for a test each year only to let themselves go until the next year, he said.

Air Force officials published the new Air Force instruction, 36-2905, Fitness Program, to the Air Force Publications Web site Jan. 12. The new instruction and fitness standards become effective for all Airmen July 1.

The Air Force provided interim policy guidance to bridge the gap between the existing AFI and new AFI, Captain Sullivan said. "Essentially, the interim policy puts into writing the bi-annual testing requirement and testing schedule."

The interim guidance allows for Airmen to begin biannual testing under the current fitness standards, while training to the new standard and learn about the requirements outlined in the new instruction.

Airmen will see a handful of changes in the new program, including an increase in testing frequency to twice a year and establishment of fitness assessment cells to administer tests. AMC Wings are in the process of hiring fitness assessment cell technicians, Captain Sullivan said. Minimum scores in each component area - push ups, sit ups, body composition, and 1.5 mile run - is another change according to the new instruction.

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 fitness standards 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 fitness standards 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.

"This new fitness program further defines the Air Force's commitment to fitness readiness," said Col. Frank Jones, AMC Chief of Services. "Every Airman has an individual responsibility to be physically fit 365 days a year."

To learn more about the new fitness program and view scoring components that become effective in July, visit

(Portions of this story courtesy of Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs)