FORT BLISS, TEXAS (August 14, 2009) -- The Future Force Integration Directorate Deputy Director Colonel Patrick Fetterman led a group of FFID motorcyclists on a winding forty mile ride up scenic Highway 28 to Old Mesilla, New Mexico to promote the Army's new Motorcycle Mentorship Program. The new Army wide program encourages unit motorcycle riding clubs which provides new riders access to mentorship and further training from more experienced riders within the command. The intent of the program is to promote safe and responsible motorcycling while off duty by providing role models to new motorcyclists. To support the effort, FFID has begun conducting quarterly motorcycle mentorship rides to reinforce basic motorcycle skills and inspect the rider's motorcycle and personal protective equipment. On Friday morning, the riders from the Future Force Integration Directorate and the Army Evaluation Task Force met at the FFID complex to receive instruction on the day's events and safety rules. The riders were then walked though a check list to inspect their motorcycles for any safety issues. Captain Gregg Burnett, the units Motorcycle Safety Foundation certified instructor, led the inspections of the motorcycles personally pointing out common safety issues. A sample checklist can be located at the Army's mentorship program website. Tom McFarland, an employee of FFID and local road racer, spoke briefly about participating in local track days at Arroyo Seco racetrack in New Mexico. Track days are events where a closed course racetrack allows riders to ride without other cars or obstacles in a safe environment. Once the riders were briefed and inspected they mounted their motorcycles and headed across Trans-mountain road and up highway 28 among the scenic pecan orchards and farmlands. This sweeping stretch of highway is one of the more scenic drives in the local area for motorcyclists and treating them miles of greenery and local beauty. The ride culminated in the riders presenting Colonel Fetterman with a picture to commemorate his mentorship and leadership and the establishment of Colonel Marissa Tanner as the new mentor. Col Tanner hopes to continue these events to "boost unit camaraderie and to improve [FFID and AETF] rider's motorcycle skills in the upcoming year." The Army's motorcycle mentorship program website assists local commander's own motorcycle safety programs by providing tools and information.

For more information, contact Wesley Elliott, FFID Public Affairs Office, at (915) 568-4278.