JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, Texas —
The Air Force Exercise Science Unit located at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph is currently studying the Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Air Liaison Officer Tactical Air Control Party career field’s Physical Fitness Assessment for possible changes.
The exercise science unit’s primary mission is to study Tier 2 PFA career fields and determine if changes are needed within the unique career fields.
“The Tier 2 career fields reach out and we undergo studies on their fitness evaluation,” said Capt. Benjamin Welch, Exercise Science Unit executive officer. “Because these jobs are so physically demanding we want to ensure everyone within them are capable of day-to-day operations within deployed environments.”
Each study goes through a five-step process, but how long the process takes is unique to each career and the manning available.
“We're always limited on personnel, so the time it takes for this process to go start to finish really does vary,” said Welch. “Once we have all our slots filled, continuity will improve and we can hopefully finish a study within a couple of years.”
EOD has been the primary focus of the unit as of recent months. Testing for EOD began about a year ago and is currently in phase two.
To enhance the capabilities of the exercise science unit the 502nd Civil Engineering Squadron is constructing a new building where PFA studies can be more efficiently conducted.
“Right now, we are in a very small facility,” said Welch.” It's a laboratory that basically is a gym with specific equipment that we use for testing and a small area for staff offices. In the new building we're going to become about triple the size of what we have currently. We'll have the space to study more career fields at one time and build up our staff.”
The building will include an office area to accommodate more staff members, a laboratory with necessary equipment and a thermal chamber to better simulate deployed environments.