WIESBADEN, Germany - A new state-of-the-art motorcycle simulator is among a slew of projects aimed at making use of available facilities in U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden and improving Wackernheim's McCully Barracks.
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While most operations ceased at McCully Barracks in 2008 as a result of U.S. Army Europe transformation decisions, recent activity has seen the introduction of military postal operations on the installation and a host of renovation work to make way for future agencies on the small base west of Mainz.
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The new motorcycle simulator, currently the only one in Europe, brings innovation to the community and gives riders a safer alternative to improving cycle skills, safety officials said.
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"This simulator offers as much as you can get without riding a real motorcycle," said Todd V. Roberts, Simulator Systems International sales and marketing vice president, about the system that was modeled after the BMW R1150.
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The innovative system has built-in exercises, video and training materials giving the operator the option of modifying weather conditions, visibility and time of day, and specific traffic scenarios to maximize training sessions.
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"The simulator helps a rider to become better able to handle those limitations without getting into trouble," said Roberts reiterating the overall safety benefit for riders in training.
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Garrison leaders and safety officials said they appreciated the benefits offered by possessing the asset.
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"I think it's going to work out pretty well for us," said Col. Jeffrey Dill, USAG Wiesbaden commander, who said he owns a bike and is licensed but needs more experience on the road. "I'm very interested as a rider in first getting in here to work out some areas of concern."
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Robert Myrick said the simulator feels very much like riding a real motorcycle as the system's design gives feedback to the rider and trains behavior as if riding a real motorcycle.
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"Initially it was mindboggling doing the counter steering, but I made the mental adjustment," said Myrick, 18th Military Police Brigade safety manager, who has 20 years of riding experience and also works as a rider coach and has VRC, MRC and MSRC certifications. "I wanted to lean, because it feels so much like riding a real bike."
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In addition to the simulator, which is located inside Building 6291, a Motorcycle Safety Foundation Course is also being built outside the facility to the tune of about $360,000, said Tammie Stouter, Wiesbaden regional manager with the Program Management Branch, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Europe District.
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The building will also serve as the home of an instrument calibration lab and other administrative offices.
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Other projects totaling about $3 million being overseen by the Corps of Engineers' Project Management Branch include building and warehouse renovations - in preparation for use by 5th Signal Command, Interagency Fleet Management System and other tenant units and organizations - and the demolition of an old barracks building.
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Renovation work in the buildings, many of which stood empty for several years, includes everything from meeting contemporary standards to heat and electrical work, said Stouter. With the installation of radiant heat, wall insulation and other contemporary fixtures making them more energy efficient, projects are designed to meet new environmental standards which were revised in 2009, Stouter said.
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A required environmental survey revealed that owls and other animals had entered some of the buildings causing minor damage, but had not nested. The engineers are constructing owl boxes outside of the hangars while designing refurbishment projects.
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"We have a team doing an area development plan for McCully Barracks," said Stouter, explaining that the team examines the overall layout of the base and functionality of the structures and streets. Through incorporating new Army standards, "we want to find the best way to make use of the facilities that we have," she said.
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Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16