FORT BLISS, Texas -- The 402nd Field Artillery Brigade, Division West, held its first Joint Motorcycle Ride Oct. 24, which included riders from the 5th Armored Brigade, and 166th Aviation Brigade, out of Fort Hood.

The ride teamed experience with inexperienced riders, but it gave all the motorcyclists an opportunity to gain group experience on their ride to Cloudcroft, N.M.

"Rides like this give weak riders an idea of what needs to be done to get better," said DJ Dryer, Mission Training Center Safety Manager. "Experienced can learn new skills as well, but sharpen their old skills."

The joint ride coordinated by Command Sgt. Maj. Ernest Bowen Jr., 402nd Field Artillery Brigade command sergeant major, and Sgt. 1st Class Jae Haney, 402nd Field Artillery Brigade medic, included Division West Soldiers travelling from Fort Hood, Texas.

Command Sgt. Maj. Glen Vela, Division West motorcycle mentor, and Master Sgt. Ruben Samarripa, of the 166th Aviation Brigade, were among those that made the trek to Fort Bliss to join their comrades in the joint ride.

The day began with a thorough route and safety briefing conducted by Bowen.

"Anybody have a bike that doesn't reach 70 miles an hour," said Bowen. "The speed limit is there for a reason."

Upon completion of the briefing, all riders were issued a First-Aid pack along with emergency contacts and locations of medical facilities in case an emergency were to arise or they needed assistance during an accident. The Soldiers conducted their final equipment and motorcycle checks and lined up in three groups of six riders per team, with the most experience riders of each team as their lead and began their ride to Cloudcroft followed by the 402nd's Recovery Team.

Enroute to Cloudcroft, the riders stopped at their designated rest areas along the way in Alamogordo and Oro Grande. Upon arrival, riders arrived at Big Daddy's Diner, where they ate barbecue and then continued on their way through the mountain side.

Passing through Mayhill, one of the riders experienced some minor difficulties and pulled off to the side of the rode into the gravel path to clear his eyes, where he layed his motorcycle down. He endured minor injuries along with minor damage to his motorcycle as well.

"At the point of the incident, patient assessment, scene management and patient transport was performed flawlessly by all motorcycle riders and the scene was managed by numerous trained Accident Scene Management trained personnel," said Sgt. 1st Class Jae Haney, 402nd Field Artillery Brigade medic.

Haney provided medical aide until the Emergency Medical Service Technicians arrived on the scene. The rider was transported from the accident scene to Alamogordo Medical Facility where he was treated and released with minor injuries.

"Everyone reacted in exact accordance to what was briefed," said Col. Raul Gonzalez, brigade commander of 5th Armored Brigade. "He was treated and taken care of before the first responders arrived. We just passed off all of the medical notes to the responders."

Upon completion of the accident response, the Sherriff's accident report, the riders recovered the Soldier's motorcycle accordingly and continued along with their motorcycle ride around the mountain side back through Cloud Croft where, the teams conducted their After Action Review, and returned to Fort Bliss.

For more information, or coverage on this article, you can contact the 402nd Field Artillery Brigade, 2nd Battalion, 362nd Field Artillery Regiment Unit Public Affairs Representative via phone at (915)568-4854/ (915)525-3614 or at