Studying Battlefield Airmen Fitness Standards

Some two-dozen battlefield airmen assigned to the 26th Special Tactics Squadron at Cannon AFB, N.M., participated in a two-month physical fitness study aimed at scientifically measuring operational mission requirements. Members of the Air Force Fitness Testing and Stardards Unit at JBSA-Randolph, Texas, conducted the study “to validate the physical fitness standards for the six career fields that remain closed to women, including special tactics officers, combat rescue officers, special operations weather enlisted, combat control, tactical air control party, and pararescue, according to a release. “We welcome any airman, male or female, who can obtain and maintain the high standards of performance and competence that make us successful on the battlefield,” said one of the 26th STS members participating in the study. “If a person can meet the standards, maintain the pace, and endure the selection process with our other candidates, then they will do just fine. In special tactics, exceeding the standard has always been the standard and that will not change.” Women represent 19 percent of the Air Force population and less than one percent of career fields remain closed to them. The service began integrating women into combat aircraft in 1993. (See also Women in Combat from the August 2013 issue of Air Force Magazine.)