Maintaining fit Airmen for air dominance

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Zachary Nordheim
  • 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

 In order to uphold the highest standards of readiness, military members are required to complete a fitness assessment at least once a year. The team at Tyndall’s 325th Force Support Squadron fitness assessment cell is dedicated to ensuring Airmen across the installation meet or exceed those standards.

According to Richard Lyons, 325th FSS fitness and sports program manager, the FAC is responsible for conducting official Air Force physical fitness assessments as well as the assignment and training of the unit fitness program managers, unit fitness assessment cell and physical training leaders.

When conducting physical tests and trainings, all members of the FAC must adhere to Department of the Air Force Manual 36-2905, the Air Force’s Physical Fitness Program policy. The goal of the program is to motivate every member to participate in a year-round physical conditioning program that emphasizes total fitness and positively impact health, general fitness, duty performance and mission readiness. For the FAC, the manual gives specific guidance on conducting the PFA, ensuring each member is held to the appropriate standards and given the same instructions.

“When people come in for PT tests we evaluate their paperwork, get [their] height and weight and then we begin the assessment,” said Senior Airman Randall Bullard, 325th FSS fitness assessment specialist. “Before each exercise we give them a brief on what they’ll be doing as well as a demonstration. All PT tests start with the muscular strength and core endurance components followed by the cardiorespiratory component.”

PT test components include push-ups or hand-release push-ups for muscular strength assessment, sit-ups, cross leg reverse crunches or a timed forearm plank for core endurance assessment and a 1.5-mile run, 20 meter high aerobic multi-shuttle run or the 2 kilometer walk, if not medically cleared to run for the cardiorespiratory assessment. As of 2022, Airmen now have the option of choosing any combination of components for their PT test.

“In addition to our testing we have in-house testing where all the units do their [assessments] themselves,” said Lyons. “We do the training for the PTLs for [unit physical training], UFPMs, who are the liaisons between the fitness program and the commander, as well as the UFAC, who are the individuals who do the testing for units that have chosen to self test.”

Units that participate in self-testing will have their UFAC’s administer the PT test and input the scores themselves. FAC members will inspect all self-test units annually to make sure they are following Air Force standards.

“On average we see 80 to 100 people a month. So self-testing units are doing something that helps us and their squadrons,” said Bullard. “This way it alleviates the quantity of individuals we have to go through on base.”
After administering morning assessments, FAC members serve as a customer service focal point, answering questions from various units regarding official testing.

“What I like the most about the FAC is being able to interact with so many people,” said Staff Sgt. Adriana Hernandez-Semidey, 325th FSS noncommissioned officer in charge of the FAC. “I get to work with officers, enlisted and even guard and reserve. People look at us as the subject matter experts and it makes you feel good.”

With a 99% PFA pass rate, Team Tyndall continues to uphold the Air Force standard of physically fit Airman ready to fight at moment’s notice, and the FAC team remains at the forefront of that effort.