The Air Force is delaying some Weighted Airman Promotion System testing through May 11 to safeguard against the risk of COVID-19, according to the service.
The postponement was made because maintaining access to testing centers is up to installation commanders.
“Installation commanders have the authority to determine testing center availability to maintain health and safety,” the Air Force said in a news release Monday. “As a result of some centers not being available for testing due to the COVID-19 outbreak, current WAPS testing is postponed through May 11.”
Airmen who’ve already taken the test will not be required to take it again, and airmen can take the test provided there is availability, per the service.
Meanwhile, the Air Force said it will continue to monitor the situation and advised airmen to contact their chain of command and testing control office.
WAPS tests are for staff sergeants and technical sergeants, but that could change later this year or in 2021. Last year, the Air Force dropped WAPS tests for senior non-commissioned officers, and signaled that a similar step could happen for non-commissioned officers.
Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Kaleth Wright told Air Force Times in September 2019 that the Air Force was eyeing the move, but added additional research was needed.
“We want to make sure we get it right,” Wright said. “I’m not concerned about speed as much as I’m concerned about making sure we do the right thing for all of our airmen.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has also impacted promotion boards and selections across the services. For example, Air Force announced Friday that the Master Sergeant (20E7) promotion board scheduled for March 23 at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph in Texas would be postponed until June.
Even so, the service said it expects that the promotion release will become public by the end of July and that the “sew-on” increment slated for August 1 will continue as planned.