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Summer safety for Moody motorcyclists

The 4th Fighter Wing safety office trains members across Seymour Johnson Air Force Base to become certified instructors for the Basic Riders Course.

Staff Sgt. Matthew Alston, 916th Logistics Readiness Squadron material management NCO in charge, performs a maneuver during the Basic Riders Course at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, Feb. 25, 2021. Riders spend 10 hours practicing 14 exercises and must complete a skills evaluation in order to pass the course. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jacob Derry)

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --

With summer right around the corner, Moody will likely see an increase in motorcycle riders on the roadway.

While the Air Force achieved a historic reduction in fatal motorcycle incidents in 2019, 2020 saw that number rise again, including the loss of one of Moody’s own in November. COVID-19 has caused widespread changes to in-person events, like the required motorcycle safety training, but the resources remain intact.

“Here at the 23d Wing, we have changed how we provide training to our riders,” said Master Sgt. Brandon Trollmann, 23d Wing occupational safety section chief. “We found institutions off base that can provide the training for us and we reimburse the rider for the cost.”

According to Trollmann, riders can attend a Motorcycle Safety Foundation course at any location at their convenience, which will satisfy the Air Force requirement for training.

The safety training ensures Airmen are fully aware of the dangers that come with driving a motorcycle, but it's not just motorcycle drivers who need to exercise greater awareness.

“The biggest hazard to motorcycle riders is not the motorcycle or the rider themselves, usually it's other vehicles on the runway,” Trollmann said. “They don’t have other vehicles in the training but that awareness is still huge.”

Safety classes are not the only avenue for readiness, however. There are also mentorship rides organized by unit safety representatives or military affiliated motorcycle clubs, like the Green Knights, where experienced riders pass their knowledge down to newcomers.

“Mentorship rides, if done correctly, are a great thing,” Trollmann said. “[The Air Force] wants riders to gain that experience, comfortability and general awareness of their environment.”

Staff Sgt. Michael Uriostegui, 23d Wing mishap reporting and prevention NCO in charge, stressed the value of resources like the mentorship rides with the Green Knights.

Uriostegui said groups like these have hundreds of mentorship rides to their name and that makes their guidance a highly trusted source of safety education.

The pandemic has changed many things for Airmen, but Moody is committed to keeping the emphasis on safety.

“The one thing that I would like everybody to know, especially here on Moody, is that motorcycle safety is alive and well and didn't go anywhere,” Trollmann said.

For more information about motorcycle safety, Airmen can call 229-257-SAFE or reach out to their unit motorcycle safety representatives.