WASHINGTON, DC -- The Air Force said last week that its new fitness standards will be implemented on July 1, 2010, rather than on Jan. 1, 2010, as originally planned.

Although the new standards won’t be applied until July 1, the new biannual fitness testing process will still start on Jan. 1 using the Air Force’s current fitness standards. Then beginning on July 1, airmen will be tested under the new requirements with the new scoring.

During the Jan. 1 to June 30 testing phase, airmen will receive two scores on their fitness tests—one for the current system and one for the new standard so they can gauge their performance.

Officials said the six-month delay will allow commanders and airmen time to be sure they are in compliance with the new Air Force Instruction (AFI) when it is officially released within the coming weeks.

“Based on feedback from the field, we are implementing the July start date so airmen have the opportunity to excel,” Lt. Gen. Richard Y. Newton III, Air Force deputy chief of staff for manpower and personnel, said in a statement. “This implementation strategy will allow for a smoother transition of the new Air Force Instruction and afford commanders adequate time to establish installation fitness assessment cells (FACs) to include adequate manning for the FACs.”

The new standards call for physical fitness tests to be conducted by civilian employees at FACs. Units with FACs in place by January can use them to conduct the assessments, Newton said.

Under the new standards, a run designed to test aerobic fitness will count for 60 percent of the test score. Body composition as shown by a waist measurement will count for 20 percent. Under the current standard, they count for 50 percent and 30 percent, respectively. The sit-ups and push-ups portions of the test will continue to count for 10 percent each.