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JBER Motorcycle riding season calls for safety training
Air Force Staff Sgt. Christopher Golden, front center, and Senior Airman Walter Bracy attend a motorcycle training refresher course on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, May 15. The course is required every three years for Army motorcyclists and every three to five years for Air Force motorcyclists. Golden is a computer support technician for the 176th Air Control Squadron and is from Jackson, Miss. Bracy is a passenger service agent for the 723nd Air Mobility Squadron and is from Ogdensburg, N.Y.
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JBER Motorcycle riding season calls for safety training

Posted 5/17/2012   Updated 5/17/2012 Email story   Print story

    


by Air Force Staff Sgt. Robert Barnett
JBER Public Affairs


5/17/2012 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- The JBER motorcycle riding season has begun.

"People probably started to get the itch for riding motorcycles around the end of March," said Todd Moore, 673d Air Base Wing safety and occupational health specialist. "That's when it started to warm up and the snow started to melt."

He said the unique environment Alaska provides attracts many who enjoy riding motorcycles.

"There are probably about 700 riders on base," Moore said. "So far, to my knowledge, we've only had one rider that has gotten minor injuries this riding season. We've had no fatalities at JBER, which is the goal."

According to the Air Force Safety Center, in fiscal year 2011 the Air Force lost 15 Airmen in motorcycle mishaps and three so far in fiscal year 2012. Most accidents were due to excessive speeds, failure to negotiate a turn, and unfamiliarity with the motorcycle itself.
"Both the Air Force Instruction 29-207, United States Air Force Traffic Safety Program, and the Army regulation 385-10, The Army Safety Program, make it mandatory for motorcycle riders to receive motorcycle safety foundation training before they are able to ride," Moore said. "Army personnel are required to have refresher training every three years, and Air Force every three to five years."

In this joint environment, all services are covered, Moore said. JBER offers multiple training opportunities.

"This year, the Air Force has funded the contract for motorcycle safety training," he said. "We're offering three different classes. The Basic Rider Course and BRC 2 are being taught by a local vendor that actually conducts the training. The Air Force has also funded six motorcycle rider courses. Those six classes are being conducted here on JBER's motorcycle range. The Air Force contract covers any uniformed service member to get trained in motorcycle safety."

Moore said the BRC is offered at no cost to motorcyclists or those wishing to learn. The bike and required personal protective equipment are provided for this training session. The course can be used to get the motorcycle endorsement on an Alaska state driver's license; it is the same course that's provided downtown for a fee up to $275.

He said the BRC-2 course helps riders hone and fine-tune the physical and mental skills needed for survival in traffic. Riders will need to provide the bike and PPE for this class. The training qualifies graduates for insurance premium discounts with some insurers, but most importantly, it may save a life.

"We are also offering the Military Sport Bike Rider's Course for those who ride their sports bikes," Moore said.

MSRC is the next-level training course for military riders who have completed the BRC. Riders provide the bike and protective gear.

"So far this year, to date, we've had 257 take refresher training," he said. "They've applied for it and taken the approval letter to the local company actually providing the training."
Motorcyclists are cautioned loose gravel may still exist on some roads and parking lots.
Motorcycle riding is authorized during the riding season when road conditions are "green."

The registration process is simple. Go to www.militarysafepmv.com and select Elmendorf Richardson. Select the course and date preferred and register for the desired course.

The main thing that is stressed in the courses is safety.

"The training is going really well," said Chuck Swesey, Cape Fox Professional Services, which provides the motorcycle safety courses to JBER. "Motorcycle training is sort of lost because military like to train for the inevitable conflict.

"However, every time you throw your leg over a motorcycle there is the possibility of conflict and I think training is more important for motorcycle training than almost anything else," he said.

For more information about the motorcycle basic safety course and other courses offered on JBER, call the 673d Air Base Wing Ground Safety Office at 384-2383 or 552-3824.



tabComments
5/20/2012 11:38:50 AM ET
AFI 91-207 is the correct AFI. 29-207 is Arming and Use of Force.
Joe, Elmo
 
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