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Air Force officials emphasize individual fitness responsibility

LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- First Lt. Megan Schafer (from left), Staff Sgt. Antwain Wright and Master Sgt. Scott Wagers show off different combinations of the new physical training uniform while jogging here during the wear-test phase.  The new uniform will be issued to Airmen serving in Southwest Asia first and phased into the rest of the force over the next three years.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Efrain Gonzalez)

While Air Force commanders have the responsibility to maintain a unit fitness program, the new fitness Air Force instruction will better emphasize each Airman's responsibility to meet and maintain fitness standards, officials said Nov. 13, 2009, in Washington, D.C. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration)

WASHINGTON -- While Air Force commanders have the responsibility to maintain a unit fitness program, the new fitness Air Force instruction will better emphasize each Airman's responsibility to meet and maintain fitness standards, officials here said Nov. 13.

Commanders and supervisors will continue to emphasize the importance of fitness and provide Airmen duty hour fitness time when mission permits, but will no longer be mandated by the AFI to do so, said Maj. Gen. Darrell D. Jones, the director of force management policy.

"It is every Airman's responsibility to maintain the standards set forth in this AFI 365 days a year," General Jones said. "The Air Force encourages organized squadron physical fitness; it continues to be a very important part of our (physical training) program, because statistics show that people who exercise in groups have a much higher percentage of maintaining their fitness and exercise programs."

As part of the service's blueprint to create a culture of fitness, the new AFI includes new incentives to keep Airmen motivated to get and stay fit, the general added.

"The new program is health based, gives Airmen rewards for incremental improvement in fitness, and emphasizes the most important aspect of fitness -- cardiovascular endurance -- so our Airmen can respond to the demands of the mission and environment," General Jones said.

As the operations tempo increases, Air Force leaders will look to fitness assessments to provide commanders with a tool to determine the overall fitness of their military members.

"Fitness assessments help commanders establish an environment for members to maintain health and fitness to meet expeditionary mission requirements," General Jones said. "Our goal is to have everyone in excellent shape because it's good for the mission and it's good for the Airmen."

For more information about PT requirements, visit the Air Force Portal. Once approved, the new AFI will be posted.
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