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FSS is Fit to Fight

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Cammie Quinn
  • 43rd Airlift Wing, Public Affairs
Physical training and fitness in the Air Force is not merely a choice-- it's a condition of employment for Airmen.

To asses, maintain and regulate fitness, annual PT tests are administered for all active duty Air Force members. Revised standards have added a few grey hairs to Air Force leadership, as the proverbial rug has been lifted to reveal that some Airmen are not as fit to fight as once thought.

Airmen in Pope's 43rd Force Support Squadron strive to quell those fears and take the necessary steps to pull their colleagues through the finish line. PT leaders run the FSS program and vary the activities according to skill level and individual needs of each squadron member.

"Our squadron members are required to attend PT three times per week," said Master Sgt. Roy King, First Sergeant for the 43rd FSS. "Because of our squadron's diverse shift schedules, we conduct PT sessions twice a day, Monday through Friday.

Airmen are able to determine their fate as participation in unit PT or working out individually is incumbent upon their most recent official PT score.

"If our members score a 90 percent or more on their test, they are still required to work out three times a week, but only one session has to be with the squadron," Sergeant King said. "If Airmen score between 85 and 89, they have to attend two sessions with the squadron and can perform the third session on their own time. A score of less than 85 requires at least three unit PT sessions per week."

The squadron's PT schedule is posted on their EIM site, allowing members to know what to expect at each session, the sergeant added.

"We have diversified programs in FSS," said Tech Sgt. Nakesha Snipes, 43rd FSS. "It helps to change up the routine and do different workouts."

Benchmark tests are administered prior to the official PT test to prepare Airmen for the upcoming changes. The test includes new age categories and minimum requirements for push ups, sit ups and 1.5-mile run. These changes are being implemented in order to promote better fitness standards among Airmen.

With the PT modifications, one FSS Airman appreciates the assessment of her current level of fitness.

"I did well on the benchmark," said Senior Airman Sabrina Blayde, 43rd FSS. "It caught me off guard, but it's helped me to see what I need to work on."

Physical fitness is a standard for military service. It has an impact on readiness and increases Airmen's ability to adapt and perform in the deployed environment, said Sergeant King

"I believe PT is important in today's Air Force," he added. "As we continue to evolve into a leaner force, we need every able body to be both healthy and ready to do their part in carrying out the mission."