Firming Up

In what could serve as a model across the entire Air Force, Pacific Air Forces is centralizing all fitness testing under base health and wellness centers by March of next year. PACAF chief Gen. Howie Chandler said two issues drove the changes: The need for better standardization and a desire to mitigate unnecessary time demands on airmen administering the program at the unit level. He said: “Inherent in our job as airmen is to be fit to fight. This new process professionalizes our testing and standards and makes it less of a pick-up game.” This is important since an airman’s fitness is now reflected on performance reports and impacts careers, he said. Under the new system, wing HAWC staff will administer the fitness program as well as conduct remedial training and medical, nutritional, and educational appointments for those who require additional support. Jason Ham, exercise physiologist with the 15th Airlift Wing at Hickam AFB, Hawaii, PACAF’s headquarters, said the goal is to institute a culture under which airmen are healthier and more physically active throughout the year, as opposed to just getting ready for an annual fitness test. Active duty members will sign up for their fit test through the HAWC in a way similar to a medical appointment. (Hickam report by TSgt. Tom Czerwinski)