Air Force aims to be ready for digital promotion testing starting next year
Stars and Stripes November 13, 2023
The Air Force expects that all bases will be ready for digital promotion testing by February, according to the service’s top enlisted leader.
The transition from paper scantrons to eWAPS — electronic weighted airman promotion systems — is an initiative set forth by Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Joanne S. Bass.
The weighted system is part of how the Air Force selects eligible airmen for promotion to staff sergeant and technical sergeant. The test consists of a series of multiple choice, job-specific questions and questions on Air Force history, regulations and customs.
“When it comes to the Force of the Future, it is essential we modernize the IT systems our Airmen use — to include how we test for promotion,” Bass recently told Stars and Stripes by email. “We are excited to announce that all of our bases are projected to roll out eWAPS in February 2024, in conjunction with the 24E6 testing cycle.”
The Air Force had to examine the system’s digital feasibility, its use of commercial internet, facility construction requirements and cost of equipment for the transition, the service said in a Nov. 6 news release.
“Pilot tests were conducted across 61 bases, from July to September, with additional pilots scheduled to run through December to ensure functionality before we deploy eWAPS across the force in February,” Bass said.
Kadena Air Base on Okinawa is among the latest to announce that its digital promotion testing center in the base’s education office is ready to go. Testing stations and advanced computer systems were installed in September, according to a Nov. 6 news release.
Misawa Air Base in northeastern Japan has also completed installation of desks and computer equipment and is ready for digital promotion testing next year, Kelly Spridgen, education office section chief, told Stars and Stripes by phone Thursday.
The education center at Yokota Air Base in western Tokyo will be ready next year, Roy Suber, of the base education office, said by phone Wednesday.
“I look forward to hearing the feedback from our Airmen and appreciate the work by all to get us here,” Bass said.