NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Imagine standing in front of the 99th Air Base Wing commander, vice commander, group commanders, squadron commanders here and telling them more than 300 Airmen failed the run portion, more than 130 failed the pushups portion, more than 70 failed the abdominal circumference portion, more than 30 failed the walk portion, and more than 15 failed the pushups portion of the Fitness Assessment in calendar year 2013.
The 99th Force Support Squadron does just that when it briefs fitness assessment failures, which are used to see how Nellis AFB compares to other bases and the Air Force as a whole.
These failures are briefed monthly to 99th ABW leadership, and the scores provide commanders with a tool to assist in the determination of overall fitness of their Airmen.
These numbers may seem large, but they’re actually average. For a base of 10,000 Airmen, 0.3 percent failed their physical fitness test. These scores are very similar to what Air Combat Command and the Air Force show for their fitness assessments.
With the Air Force’s upcoming force shaping programs, Airmen with negative force quality indicators are at risk for being involuntarily separated. A fitness assessment failure can lead to a referral enlisted performance report, which, in turn, makes someone ineligible to test for promotion or move to another base.
Although there are consequences for failing an FA, there are also programs available to help Airmen improve their scores.
Since the 1.5-mile run needs the most improvement, the six week running improvement program offered by the health and wellness center targets people that want to improve their run times. The group works out together and conducts running workouts.
“On average, the 1.5-mile run time improved by 1 minute, 20 seconds,” said Kent Terrilion, 99th Aerospace Medicine Squadron fitness program manager. “Average point improvement for this component of the test was 12.62 points.”
Other components of the fitness assessment score can be improved as well. Programs available to assist Airmen include three Be Well Programs.
The program includes strength training sessions and better body better life weight management classes. The Be Well strength training concentrates on proper lifting technique, strength programming, and core workouts. The Be Well Weight Management track is a series of five classes on weight management and behavior changes such as changing eating habits and to learn how to work out effectively. Throughout the weight management course, a different topic is addressed each week to help people improve their lifestyle.
According to Air Force Instruction 36-2905, Fitness Program, being physically fit allows Airmen to properly support the Air Force mission. The AFI states that commanders and supervisors must incorporate fitness into the Air Force culture to establish an environment for members to maintain physical fitness and health to meet expeditionary mission requirements.
For more information about how to improve your FA score and for classes that are available, visit www.nellislife.com or call the Warrior Fitness Center at (702) 652-4891.