KADENA AIR BASE, Japan – The 18th Wing is set to begin digital weighted airman promotion system testing in 2024 as part of an initiative set forth by Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Joanne S. Bass.
The enlisted Airmen promotion program has seen many changes over time. In 2019, the Air Force removed the WAPS testing requirement for active-duty promotions to the grades of E-7 through E-9, allowing promotion boards to identify the best qualified Airmen to promote into the senior noncommissioned officer corps.
Digital testing will allow the U.S. Air Force to meet modern demands that paper testing was unable to.
The decision to move enlisted promotion testing from paper-based to digital was no easy task. Many preparations were necessary to lay the groundwork for virtual testing. For example, digital feasibility was examined, a choice was made between non-secure internet protocol routers and commercial internet, and facility construction requirements, equipment, systems, and required funding were reviewed.
Here at Kadena, the education center began receiving funding from USAF Headquarters in the summer of 2022. Preparations were underway by ordering individual down-view testing stations and advanced computer systems capable of meeting the new testing requirements.
While the new equipment began arriving in the spring of 2023, the testing room was still being used for paper-based promotion testing. Once testing ended, the education center staff and the 18th Civil Engineer Squadron began the process of transforming the testing area for digitization.
The Air Force Personnel Center conducted three Air Force-wide pilot-testing phases to validate not only each installation’s computers, but also to measure the digital capacity of the new testing systems.
On Sept. 28, 2023, the education center reported to AFPC and U.S. Pacific Air Forces as being fully operational capable. Each tester in 2024 is advised to pay close attention to the new rules and steps they will be given next year as they are informed of their testing dates.
While testing is an individual responsibility, test takers will also rely on their unit command support staff and WAPS monitors.
As we say in the Force Support Division, ‘learning never stops!’
|Date Posted:||11.05.2023 22:29|
|Location:||KADENA AIR BASE, OKINAWA, JP|