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The Army’s New Physical Fitness Test Is On Track To Be Fully Implemented Next Year
A new Army physical fitness test designed to measure combat readiness has entered final stages of development and could be fully implemented across the service as soon as next summer, Army Times reports.
The so-called Army Combat Readiness Test, or ACRT, is the culmination of more than a decade of research focused on developing a replacement for the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT), which Army officials believe does not adequately measure how well a soldier will perform on the battlefield.
Soldier performs a maximum weight deadlift during Army Combat Readiness Test on Aug. 3.Photo via Facebook | U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command
Developed by the Army’s Center For Initial Military Training (CIMT), the ACRT involves a total of six events versus the APFT’s three — a two-mile run, push-ups, and sit-ups — and, according to Army officials, better prepares soldiers for the physical stress of actual combat, while also reducing the risk of musculoskeletal injury.
“This has been in the works since the early 2000s,” Whitfield East, research physiologist with CIMT, told Army Times. “Soon after we went to war, it was pretty self-evident that the APFT did not sufficiently identify the high physical demand capacities that soldiers needed to execute warrior task and battle drills and common soldier tasks.”
A pilot version of the ACRT was rolled out in early August at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, where it was tested by a group of National Guard soldiers and members of the 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment.
Soldier drags a weighted sled during the Army Combat Readiness Test on Aug. 3, 2017.Photo via Facebook | U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command
At least one Ranger, Staff Sgt. Talen Peterson, gave the test a favorable review, telling Army Times that it “is as close physically as you can get to replicate the types of physical actions you’ll do on the battlefield.”
Like the APFT, the ACRT measures muscular and cardiovascular endurance; however, while the APFT is purely calisthenic, the ACRT incorporates exercise equipment to measure what an Army official described to Army Times as three additional “domains of physical readiness”: muscular strength, explosive strength and agility.
“When the [APFT] was developed, they were still under the guidance of zero equipment,” East told Army Times. “What we know is that we can’t assess muscular strength with no equipment. You have to pick something up and put it down.”
The six events, which Army Times describes in detail here, are: A two-mile run, a 250-meter sprint/drag/carry, a maximum weight deadlift, the leg tuck, a standing power throw, and the t-pushup. The events were selected from a pool of around 30 initial options that the Army tested at Fort Riley, Kansas, in 2014.
Soldier performs the leg tuck during the Army Combat Readiness Test on Aug. 3, 2017.Photo via Facebook | U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command
The pilot phase of the ACRT now underway in Washington will put up to 2,000 soldiers through the test before the penultimate stage of implementation commences. According to CIMT’s research and analysis directorate, Michael McGurk, this stage will entail “an initial fielding of the test where we put it out for a trial period somewhere between six and 12 months.”
How the test will be scored and how often it will be administered have yet to be determined, but Lt. Col. David Feltwell, the principal doctrine developer for the Army’s physical readiness program, told Army Times that soldiers “will have to pass ACRT from reception battalion all the way through to separation” from the Army.
As with the APFT, the ACRT will be a “test of record,” meaning it will affect eligibility for promotion. Once the trial period is complete and final approval from senior Army leaders is granted, soldiers can start taking the ACRT for real. Army officials believe that could happen as soon as next summer.
Top officials of the Department of Veterans Affairs declined to step in to try to exempt veterans and their families from a new immigration rule that would make it far easier to deny green cards to low-income immigrants, according to documents obtained by ProPublica under a Freedom of Information Act request.
The Department of Defense, on the other hand, worked throughout 2018 to minimize the new policy's impact on military families.
As a result, the regulation, which goes into effect in October, applies just as strictly to veterans and their families as it does to the broader public, while active-duty members of the military and reserve forces face a relaxed version of the rule.
The soldier who was arrested for taking an armored personnel carrier on a slow-speed police chase through Virginia has been found not guilty by reason of insanity on two charges, according to The Richmond-Times Dispatch.
Joshua Phillip Yabut, 30, entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle — in this case, a 12-ton APC taken from Fort Pickett in June 2018 — and violating the terms of his bond, which stemmed from a trip to Iraq he took in March 2019 (which was not a military deployment).
In the aftermath of the ISIS suicide bombing at a wedding reception on in Afghanistan that left 63 people dead on Saturday night, Afghan president Ashraf Ghani marked the nation's 100th independence celebration with a solemn vow to "eliminate" the terror group's strongholds across the country.
"We will take revenge for every civilian drop of blood," Ghani declared. "Our struggle will continue against (ISIS), we will take revenge and will root them out."
That might prove difficult. Six month after President Donald Trump declared victory over the ISIS "caliphate" in Iraq and Syria, the terror group continues to mount a bloody comeback across the Middle East — and Afghanistan is no exception.
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Ross Hyde, 63, has been charged in federal court with making false claims about the type of aluminum he provided under a contract for aircraft landing gear, court records show. He faces up to five years in prison, if convicted.
Hyde, a machinist, has said in court documents that he's worked in the industry all his life. His latest company, Vista Machining Co., has supplied the Pentagon with parts for tanks, aircraft and other military equipment — mostly hardware and machined metals — since 2008. But inspectors said many of his products were cheap replacements, some illegally obtained from China, which he tried to hide from the government.
It's been more than a week since a mysterious Russian nuclear accident roughly 600 miles north of Moscow and only the Kremlin and those killed know what happened.
What is known is something exploded on Aug. 8 at a naval weapons testing range near the village of Nyonoksa. The Russian government's official account of the accident has changed several times since then, but the country's weather agency recently confirmed that radiation levels jumped to 16 times greater than normal after the blast.
U.S. media outlets have reported that a nuclear-powered cruise missile named the SSX-C-9 Skyfall likely exploded during testing. President Donald Trump appeared to confirm as much when he tweeted on Aug. 12 that the United States had gleaned useful information from "the failed missile explosion in Russia."