6th Maintenance Group holds annual motorcycle training

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt Brittany Liddon
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
As temperatures in Florida rise, motorcycle riders are seen in greater numbers around MacDill Air Force Base. On May 23, 2016, riders from the 6th Maintenance Group (MXG) took the opportunity during a wing training day to complete their annual motorcycle safety briefing.
"Riders tend to get more complacent as they get more riding time, but time doesn't always equal experience," said Master Sgt. Jonathan Phillips, a motorcycle safety representative assigned to the 6th Maintenance Squadron. "That's why it's important to take training days like this and focus on skills that we learned during the Motorcycle Safety Foundation Basic Riders Course (BRC) and Advanced Rider Course (ARC) and put them into practice in a controlled environment."

Prior to operating a motorcycle, all uniformed personnel are required to complete the BRC. After the initial BRC, riders are required to complete one-year and five-year refreshers, along with an annual, pre-season motorcycle riders briefing in accordance with Air Force Instruction (AFI) 91-207. The refresher courses can include the BRC, BRC refresher or the ARC.

"Annual briefings should coincide with the riding season, which may be the first time someone has ridden since they winterized their motorcycles," stated Phillips. "However, not every duty station provides the opportunity to ride as frequently as ours does. Therefore, annual briefings are usually held in conjunction with the kick-off to Critical Days of Summer, which traditionally falls on Memorial Day weekend."

The motorcycle safety representatives and 14 motorcycle riders from the 6th MXG, took full advantage of the training day to conduct their annual training, which was followed by a mentorship ride.

Prior to the mentorship ride, all riders received their annual motorcycle riders' briefing, conducted a safety inspection of their motorcycles, donned their personal protective equipment, and formed up.

The mentorship ride was coordinated by the Green Knights, which is MacDill's Motorcycle Mentorship Club that currently consists of nine mentors that are advocates for motorcycle safety and are armed with information, AFIs, and Department of Defense regulations about motorcycle rules and safety.

"When operating a motorcycle, riders should immediately be aware that their actions are the only things keeping them from being in an accident," said David O'Neil, motorcycle safety manager assigned to the 6th Air Mobility Wing. "Riders shouldn't assume that other drivers will be extra cautious when driving near bikers, because sometimes they aren't. The rider is the only person whose actions and safety precautions can be controlled.

Their judgments are an important part of staying safe while riding, so these courses are made to provide the appropriate judgments that they should make in a variety of situations."

For more information about motorcycle safety, please contact your unit Motorcycle Safety Representative or the Base Safety Office.