By Chief Warrant Officer 5 John E. Roberts, 16th Combat Aviation Brigade, Fort Wainwright, AlaskaJune 17, 2010
FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska - Clouds loomed, rain fell, but the weather did not dampen resolve as the 16th Combat Aviation Brigade gathered for a motorcycle ride June 11. The rally point for the event was next to the Fort Wainwright Army Garrison motorcycle training course by Hangar 3.
The purpose of the ride was to expose the brigade's riders to group riding techniques and planning.
All riders had completed the garrison's introductory motorcycle safety training, as required.
The brigade used the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's "Guide to Group Riding" as the standard for planning and executing the event. The event builds on the riding as a life-skill concept by providing continuation training to the brigade's riders.
The 16th CAB has approximately 110 riders of varying skill levels, from the beginning to the experienced rider.
Two routes were planned, each proceeding through the Fairbanks community and returning to Fort Wainwright. The routes were approximately 40 minutes long and exposed the teams to highway, rural and city riding challenges.
The 16th CAB Commander, Col. Robert W. Werthman was the group ride organizer. Col. Werthman said the plan was to put 10 to 14 groups of up to seven riders each on the two routes.
Each team had a designated team leader. The team leaders instructed their groups on proper riding techniques. They briefed their teams on the route and the hazards, communication techniques, formations, actions at intersections and emergency procedures.
The riders were also provided with information on local (civilian) riding groups so they can participate in rides with these organizations on their off-duty time. Riders were also informed that the MSF Experienced Riders Course is available through the Garrison Safety office.
Following the ride each team provided feedback on what they would like to see in the future.
Great ideas came from this feedback session and we will look at incorporating a number of them into the rest of this riding season.
Bottom line: This safety event provided training, education and motivation to prevent motorcycle accidents.
For more information on the motorcycle mentorship program and trip planning tools and more, visit the U.S. Army Combat Readiness and Safety Center online at https://safety.army.mil.