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Springfield Air National Guard Base hosts Motorcycle Safety Foundation course for military members

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Michael Gibson
  • 178th Figher Wing
Nine motorcycle riders participated in a Motorcycle Ohio safety course at Springfield Air National Guard Base, Ohio, offered for any military members and retirees July 19-20 to enhance motorcycle skills, safety and awareness.

The Ohio Department of Public Safety runs the course titled, Basic Rider Course, which teaches fundamental skills ranging from basic familiarization to hazard avoidance while riding a motorcycle.

"Operating a motorcycle is a high-risk activity and takes different skills than driving a four-wheeled vehicle," said Maj. Gen. Gregory A. Feest, Air Force Chief of Safety. "Most of our accidents are due to a lack of training, poor riding skills and a risky attitude, most notably driving too fast for conditions."

Training is required for all Active Guard and Reserve members who ride. Traditional guardsmen are required to do the training if they want to ride on duty status or if they are on a federal installation, said Senior Master Sgt. David Arthur, ground safety manager, 178th Fighter Wing.

Upon successful completion of the BRC students are awarded endorsement cards from Motorcycle Ohio and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. These cards allow riders to obtain an Ohio motorcycle license and ride on federal installations.

Riders who began the course with little to no experience were trained to ride safely and react to various road hazards. Student's skills were eventually tested through a written test and practical evaluation on a motorcycle.

"In my 19 years of teaching experience I have never had one person say this is a waste of time or money to take this class," said Greg Burton, motorcycle rider coach. "When people leave here they generally have more confidence in riding."

These classes help develop muscle memory that will assist riders and improve reaction time when they experience obstacles on the road, according to Burton.

The two-day course was split up into two eight-hour sessions which included four hours of classroom time and 12 hours of riding time. Students were provided with motorcycles, helmets, and a Rider Handbook.

"It was important to protect our people by ensuring that training is available here at Springfield," said Arthur. "It's a simple case of taking care of our own."

These classes accept walk-ins if there is space available on the first class date. There are even times when walk-ins are accepted for classes that are full because some registered students fail to show up for class.

Ohio offers the BRC many times throughout the state. Members who were not able to attend the training can visit the web site to obtain more information about future classes and scheduling.

"Someone usually takes something away from this course," said Burton. "Even if they've ridden for years."