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PT program needs fixing, audit finds

January 5, 2009 by  
Filed under Air Force News, Military Information

From AirForceTimes.com

Air Force Training

Air Force Training

By Michael Hoffman – Staff writer

An Air Force-wide audit found the service’s fitness program is failing to keep airmen fit year-round.

The fitness program “did not effectively promote a healthy lifestyle,” and unit commanders did not give airmen enough time to work out while not cracking down on airmen who failed PT tests, according to a December report released by the Air Force Audit Agency.

The agency found 35 percent of the airmen it reviewed had gained a significant amount of weight after their annual PT test, leading to the conclusion that the fitness program promoted a “fit to test” culture — not the “fit to fight” culture Air Force leaders had hoped for.

Of the 321 airmen whose PT tests the agency reviewed, 111 gained an average of nine pounds just 60 days after completing their PT test, according to the report. At RAF Lakenheath, England, nine out of 23 airmen reviewed gained an average of 15 pounds.

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Rodney McKinley requested the audit, which was done in 2007 and 2008 at 50 units across the Air Force.

At the 50 units the auditors visited, 16 did not have a written policy that allowed time for group fitness activities or didn’t give airmen time during duty hours to work out.

Airmen who failed the PT test rarely were punished. Only 20 percent of airmen who failed the PT test two or more times consecutively had met a fitness review panel, and 72 percent of those airmen avoided administrative action.

One airman at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., failed the PT test 12 straight times “without meeting a fitness review panel or receiving any administrative action,” according to the report.

Auditors also found problems with the airmen administering the PT test — especially the waist measurement portion.

The audit agency found many airmen were not as trim as their tests reflected when auditors compared waist measurement results from one year to another. With auditors monitoring the latest fitness tests, 17 percent of airmen had bigger waists without gaining any weight.

A waist measurement for one airman at Barksdale Air Force Base, Calif., went up five inches from the previous year, but curiously, he lost six pounds over that same year.

In response to the audit, Pacific Air Forces Commander Gen. Howie Chandler standardized who will administer the PT test in December, announcing all PT tests will be issued in PacAF by base health and wellness center staff members.


One Response to “PT program needs fixing, audit finds”
  1. Capt Obvious says:

    Well here is a shocker, maybe you need a standardized method of testing like electric impedance body fat testing. That shouldn't be too far of a stretch from a simple waist measurement relationship to physical fitness. Perhaps the AF is interested in “physical standards” rather than “physical fitness.”