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Air Force delays fitness assessments again because of COVID-19 pandemic

The Air Force physical assessment test, required of all branch personnel, has been has been pushed back again, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, to April 2021. Photo by A1C Charles Welty/U.S. Air Force
The Air Force physical assessment test, required of all branch personnel, has been has been pushed back again, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, to April 2021. Photo by A1C Charles Welty/U.S. Air Force

Dec. 7 (UPI) -- U.S. Air Force physical assessment tests, delayed to January 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, will resume instead in April, the Air Force said on Monday.

The annual testing of all Air Force and Space Force personnel was originally scheduled for March 2020 but was delayed until June, then to October and then again to January 2021, to limit the spread of the virus.

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"Originally, we hoped to resume testing by January 2021," Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass said Monday in a press release.

"However, based on the number of [COVID-19] cases nationwide, the right thing to do is focus on keeping our airmen and their families safe. Delaying and reevaluating the PT [physical training] test is the best option for our people," Bass said.

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The test includes a 1.5 mile run, one minute of pushups and one minute of situps.

The Air Force noted Monday that a composite score, factoring in height, weight and other measurements, will no longer include waist measurement, beginning in October 2021.

Commanders may delay the assessments beyond April, based on guidelines of local health officials, local government restrictions and the availability of on-base fitness centers, Air Force officials said.

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"Along with removing the waist measurement, we are also exploring alternative strength and cardio components to our current Air Force fitness assessment," said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr.

"We believe these potential test structure changes will impact airmen in a positive way and help with a holistic approach to health and fitness standards," Brown said.

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