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Tougher fitness test slated for airmen in 2 job specialties

A U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagle aircraft assigned to the 493rd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron responds to an alert scramble notification at Siauliai Air Base, Lithuania, Sept. 4, 2017. (MATTHEW PLEW/U.S. AIR FORCE)

The Air Force is rolling out a more rigorous fitness test for airmen in two job fields that require coordination with ground combat troops.

Air liaison officers and tactical air control party operators will undergo a physical fitness assessment designed specifically for them sometime next year, officials announced Wednesday.

“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,” Dr. Neal Baumgartner, chief of the Air Force’s Exercise Science Unit, said in a statement.

Both occupations embed with Army and Marine units to direct strikes from ground locations, according to the Air Force website.

Currently, all airmen are required to pass a fitness assessment, known as Tier 1, involving a timed 1 1/2-mile run and a number of situps and pushups completed in one minute.

The new Tier 2 test will include the following activities: the 1,000-meter row, pullups, trap bar deadlift, two-cone agility drill, medicine ball toss, grip strength test, 100-yard farmer’s carry, extended cross-knee crunch, weighted lunges and a faster 1 1/2-mile run.

“Each of these 10 components has specific relevance to unique ALO-TACP operational mission sets,” said Master Sgt. Matthew Gruse of the Exercise Science Unit.

Scoring is based on a 10-point scale for each event. Airmen must score at least 46 points out of 100 to pass. The run is timed and must be completed in under 11 minutes, 31 seconds.

Unlike the current Tier 1 Air Force fitness assessment, age and gender aren’t factored into scoring.

Airmen taking the Tier 2 fitness assessment won’t have to take the Tier 1 test.

Once the new assessment is implemented next year, ALO and TACP operators will have a 12-month period to adapt to the new Tier 2 test. Airmen may contact their unit physical training leaders and the Exercise Science Unit for further guidance.


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