1.0 Introduction

This article provides an overview of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Advanced Fitness Training Assistant (AFTA) Course.

2.0 What is the CAF FORCE Test?

Every member of the CAF is required to successfully complete the FORCE test (Fitness for Operational Requirements of Canadian Armed Forces Employment), a series of 4 tasks designed to measure operational fitness – a reflection of the CAF minimal physical employment standard related to common defence and security duties known as the Universality of Service principle.

3.0 What is the Aim of the AFTA Course?

The aim of this course is to train CAF personnel:

  • Who have a keen interest in Physical Fitness Training (PFT);
  • On advanced type fitness training; and
  • To meet the needs of the tactical athlete.

This operational and functionally based training will enhance the operational readiness of the individual and their unit.

4.0 How long is the Course?

The course is 10 days in duration, approximately 70 hours of training (Branscombe, 2015).

5.0 Where is the Course Delivered?

The course is delivered by the National Personnel Support Programmes (PSP) Training Centre located at the Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Borden.

6.0 Who is Eligible for the Course?

The AFTA Course is open to military personnel and criteria include:

  • BFTA qualified and involved with the unit’s/school’s physical training programme on a regular basis.
  • Successfully completed the FORCE evaluation in the past 12 months.
  • Have the rank of Corporal/Leading Seaman and above.
  • Be currently qualified in St. John’s Standard Level First Aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
  • Medical standards:
    • V CV H G O A
    • 4 3 3 2 2 5
  • Course attendance approval through the chain of command.

7.0 Outline of Training

During this two week course, candidates will learn how to:

  • Explain the Tactical Athlete Training Programme (TATP);
  • Identify exercise safety concerns of advanced training methods;
  • Demonstrate/conduct TATP fitness conditioning training session;
  • Conduct obstacle course physical fitness training;
  • Conduct operational based physical fitness skills training;
  • Conduct competitive fitness games; and
  • Conduct fitness based orienteering.

Candidates are taught through a mix of theory, practical demonstrations, group discussions and student presentations and are assessed on:

  • Conduct of a tactical athlete physical training session and implementation of a physical fitness programme;
  • Instruction and demonstration of weight lifting technique;
  • Conducting group competitive games activity; and
  • Achieving passing grades in two written theoretical tests.

8.0 Other Courses and Qualifications

9.0 Useful Publications

  • Branscombe, J. (2015) Curriculum Development Issues and Opportunities in the Canadian Military Physical Fitness Program. PhD Thesis. Nipissing University. Available from World Wide Web: https://tspace.library.utoronto.ca/bitstream/1807/92900/1/curriculum%20development%20issues%20and%20opportunities.pdf. [Accessed: 02 January, 2019].
  • FORCE Evaluation Operations Manual.

10.0 Useful Links

  • CAF Connection: https://www.cafconnection.ca/National/Programs-Services/For-Military-Personnel/Military-Fitness.aspx.
  • CFMWS: https://www.cfmws.com/en/AboutUs/PSP/Pages/default.aspx.

11.0 References

  • Branscombe, J. (2015) Curriculum Development Issues and Opportunities in the Canadian Military Physical Fitness Program. PhD Thesis. Nipissing University. Available from World Wide Web: https://tspace.library.utoronto.ca/bitstream/1807/92900/1/curriculum%20development%20issues%20and%20opportunities.pdf. [Accessed: 02 January, 2019].
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