By Mr. Scott Wakefield (TACOM)September 10, 2019
The U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command's Soldier Product Support Integration Directorate out of Natick, Mass. is ready to start fielding the equipment for the new Army Combat Fitness Test.
The Army is expecting to replace the Army Physical Fitness Test with the ACFT by Oct. 1, 2020. The ACFT is more aligned to the physical requirements needed in combat by military units, making the unit more combat ready and making the soldier more physically ready. The test is also expected to cut down on injuries and decrease accession losses when compared to the APFT.
Select units within the Army are currently testing the ACFT in Phase 1 to provide guidance and recommendations for adjustments to future test requirements.
The Army wanted to have all units equipped by Oct. 1 to start Phase 2. However, the contract is currently under protest which will push the Phase 2 fielding deadline. Soldier PSID Director, Joseph Cooper said, "my team is ready to implement the program as soon as the products are ready to ship."
Soldier PSID will team up with TACOM's Material Fielding and Training and the Defense Contract Management Agency to field the gear to active duty, reserve, and guard units around the world. Cooper went on to say, "we have a good fielding plan lined up."
Cooper's team will end up supplying 36,608 lanes of gear for the ACFT to all commands around the world. The branch chief for the ACFT mission, Sean O' Donohue, says, "once the fielding starts, we will do it in an equitable manner." He went on to explain that all units will be treated equally, depending on mission requirement, and that active duty units will not necessarily take precedent.
Once the fielding begins, Soldier PSID plans to equip Army units by region and units outside of a particular region may receive priority depending on the circumstances.