Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
In July 2018, the Army announced a new physical fitness test, the Army Combat Fitness Test, which would replace the Army Physical Fitness Test in October 2020. Units Armywide have already begun trial runs of the ACFT, and Fort Leavenworth is getting prepared with the renovation of three areas on post — the Harney Sports Complex Annex known as the “Bubble Gym,” the south hangar at Sherman Army Airfield and the east gym of Harney Sports Complex.
“The ACFT requires more equipment and deliberate planning than is required with this current Army fitness test,” said Mike Whitecotton, director of Emergency Services, Operations, Plans and Security.
The ACFT is made up of six events — strength deadlifts, standing power throws, hand-release push-ups, a sprint-drag-carry, leg tucks and a two-mile run. The test must be completed within 50 minutes, and passing or failing grades are based on the soldier’s job and unit requirements.
Whitecotton said along with accommodating the required tasks, the renovations provide a space to perform the ACFT in the case of inclement weather.
“In a normal unit, you can say the weather is bad, we’re going to do it next week,” Whitecotton said. “Specifically, Pre-Command Course can’t do that. That is the constraint we’re operating under here and the reason why the senior commander wanted to provide these indoor facilities for everybody to do the testing.”
Currently, the Bubble Gym is closed through Oct. 17 while renovations are being made. When the Bubble Gym reopens, 65 percent of the equipment that was available before the renovations will still be available for public use. The other 35 percent of the equipment will be relocated into Harney east and two of the racquetball courts, according to Glenn Hewitt, Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation director.
The SAAF hangar will be renovated Oct. 16-31.
Harney east is expected to be renovated Oct. 28 through Nov. 4. The renovation of Harney east is contingent upon equipment being delivered Oct. 21, Whitecotton said.
Renovations of each facility include installation of artificial turf panels and the necessary equipment for completing the ACFT. Each set of equipment includes 16 lanes, which will accommodate up to 64 soldiers at once. Five sets of equipment have been purchased. Two will be designated to Army University, one will be designated to the Special Troops Battalion, one will be designated to the 15th Military Police Brigade, and one will be designated to Combined Arms Center-Training.
“(The panels) are modular and removable,” Whitecotton said. “We did that in the event that we need to modify any of the facilities that we’re doing, and if we needed, in the case of the hangar, to evacuate because of flooding.”
Once renovations are complete, the Bubble Gym and Harney east are on a first-come, first-serve basis for units wanting to complete the ACFT. The SAAF hangar is reserved primarily for Army University’s Pre-Command Course, Whitecotton said.
“In the winter weather, they still have classes. They have a very compressed window to do the testing because the students are only here two weeks, so they can’t say ‘the weather is bad, we’re going to do it another day,’” Whitecottton said.
Hewitt said the south hangar being dedicated to Army University will also help the traffic flow at Harney, the Bubble Gym and Gruber Fitness Center.
“This will relieve pressure from Gruber, Harney and Bubble Gym so that there are more physical readiness opportunities for everybody,” Hewitt said.
For more information, call 684-2190.