By Scott Wakefield January 16, 2020
Two Army Combat Fitness Test kits packaged in custom-made shipping crates. (Photo Credit: R. Slade Walters)
The job of delivering more than 36,000 lanes of new Army Combat Fitness Test equipment to 1 million active-duty, Reserve and National Guard Soldiers at more than 1,000 Army units around the world in just six months began in late December 2019.
Delivery is expected to be completed in May 2020. Tank-automotive and Armaments Command has overall responsibility for the fielding of the ACFT equipment.
In June 2019, the Army selected Atlantic Diving Supply Inc. and Sorinex to manufacture, kit and deliver equipment for the ACFT. The contract to produce 950,000 pieces of equipment, weighing more than 15,000 tons and valued at $63.8 million, includes a requirement that the equipment be made in the United States in accordance with the Buy American Act and the Berry Amendment, which obligates the Department of Defense to give preference in procurement to domestically produced, manufactured or homegrown products.
TACOM's first delivery and fielding location was the Army National Guard in Frankfort, Kentucky. TACOM plans to continue to deliver and field the remainder of the equipment, by region, to all units with more than 20 personnel, starting with the Southeast United States.
Col. Steve Carozza, deputy military executive director of TACOM's Integrated Logistics Support Center, said, "The program management team from Natick [Massachusetts] developed a regional distribution plan designed to issue equipment to all organizations within a region, regardless of their component."
The test equipment produced, kitted and delivered by ADS Inc. and Sorinex includes:
• Hex bars
• Bumper plates
• Barbell collars
• Nylon sleds with pull straps
• Medicine balls
• Kettle bells
• Measuring tapes
The final step in the process is the fielding of the equipment, which is managed by TACOM's ILSC Materiel Fielding and Training Directorate. After the equipment is delivered, MF&T will work with the units to field it.
According to Jeffrey Mounts, director of MF&T, "It is an immense challenge and an honor to be part of the ACFT team and process. We understand how important this is to the Army [in] transforming the fitness process and are committed to its success."
Once all units have their equipment, the Army is set to implement the ACFT by Oct. 1. Soldiers will take part in the new ACFT to help improve individual readiness, meet Army operational requirements and support national security objectives.
The ACFT is the Army's new physical fitness test, which takes a holistic view of physical fitness in an effort to reduce Soldier injuries. The test will be administered by the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command and the U.S. Army Center for Initial Military Training. According to the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine and USACIMT, the test "will measure all components of fitness relative to the physical requirements of combat. Those components are muscular strength, muscular endurance, power, speed, aerobic endurance and agility."
The new fitness test will be the physical component of the Army's Holistic Health and Fitness System. This new system focuses on the mind and body, appropriate nutrition, quality sleep, preventive care, and physical readiness to help reduce injuries and promote healthier lifestyles.
This will enable soldiers to be ready for multi-domain operations that challenge today's Army warfighters.
The current Army Physical Fitness Test will remain the test of record until Oct. 1. However, as units receive the new equipment, they will begin making non-recorded assessments of the new ACFT. TRADOC will assess the impacts of the ACFT during the different stages of implementation and will make changes to the test as needed.