PEASE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, N.H. --
The Air Force has had 10 motorcycle related fatalities since the beginning of this fiscal year. Two of those fatalities have occurred since the start of the Critical Days of Summer campaign.
In an attempt to prevent others, 157th Air Refueling Wing Safety officials encourage Airmen to factor risk management in everything they do on and off duty.
"We're halfway through the critical days of summer campaign, which is an important milestone since we've historically seen an upsurge in fatalities in the second half of the season," said Senior Master Sgt. James Roberts, 157th Air Refueling Wing ground safety specialist. "Whether riding a motorcycle, competing in a triathlon, water skiing or relaxing at the pool, have the right gear and the right mindset."
With motorcycle riding in full swing, Airmen should know that operating a motorcycle is among the most dangerous activities to participate in.
"The Air Force, including the Air National Guard, requires training for all motorcyclists, as stated in AFI 91-207, and risk management techniques provide a rider the means to ensure all safety precautions are taken to include proper personal protective equipment," said Roberts.
Roberts added that he would like all members of the New Hampshire National Guard to play a part in motorcyclists remaining safe while riding.
A "Basic Rider Course," "Basic Rider Course 2" and an "Advanced Rider Course" are now available free to active duty Air Force personnel and Air National Guard members assigned to Pease.
The four training sessions are offered for all military motorcycle riders assigned to the 157 ARW, Roberts said.
The Air Force requires riders who purchase a motorcycle to attend the "Basic Rider Course 1" before riding on or off base.
"After completing the 'Basic Rider Course 1' to receive their license, then 60 days to one year after that initial course, they are recommended to complete the Basic Rider Course 2," Roberts said. "For sport bike riders, they must attend the Military Sport-bike Riding Course,' while non-sport bike riders must attend the 'Basic Rider Course 2' or the 'Advanced Rider Course.'"
He added that it is suggested riders attend a refresher training session every five years.
All motorcycle safety courses are offered at Pease in partnership with the Navy Shipyard through October. To see a full schedule or to register, visit www.navymotorcyclerider.com
Another important part of motorcycle safety is wearing the proper personal protective equipment, or PPE. Air Force Instruction 91-207 and Department of Defense Instruction 6055.04 require "All persons who ride a bicycle, tricycle, or other human powered vehicle, including motorized bicycles, on an AF installation roadway, to include flight lines will: Wear a highly visible outer garment during the day and outer garment containing retro-reflective material at night."
The protective clothing requirement is the same for military personnel off the installation.
Roberts reminds motor vehicle operators that a motorcyclist is much more vulnerable than a passenger vehicle occupant in the event of a crash. Research from Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that, per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists are more likely to die in traffic crashes than occupants in an automobile.
For further information about motorcycle safety or to register for a motorcycle safety course, contact the Safety Office at 603-430-3487.
Motorcycle operators are encouraged to visit the Air Force Rider website
or Department of Defense Rider website
for additional safety-related information. In addition, riders are encouraged to visit the 157 ARW Safety SharePoint site