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Remembering the rules of the road: Free motorcycle refresher training for Airmen

Chief Master Sgt. John Grutzmacher, from the 96th Airlift Squadron, prepares to ride his motorcycle on May 6. Per AFI 91-207, personal protective equipment (PPE) consists of long sleeves, long pants, close toed shoes, helmet and goggles, and ideally some high-visibility and/or reflective material. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech Sgt. Trevor Saylor)

Chief Master Sgt. John Grutzmacher, from the 96th Airlift Squadron, prepares to ride his motorcycle on May 6. Per AFI 91-207, personal protective equipment (PPE) consists of long sleeves, long pants, close toed shoes, helmet and goggles, and ideally some high-visibility and/or reflective material. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech Sgt. Trevor Saylor)

Chief Master Sgt. John Grutzmacher, from the 96th Airlift Squadron, prepares to ride his motorcycle on May 6. Per AFI 91-207, personal protective equipment (PPE) consists of long sleeves, long pants, close toed shoes, helmet and goggles, and ideally some high-visibility and/or reflective material. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech Sgt. Trevor Saylor)

Chief Master Sgt. John Grutzmacher, from the 96th Airlift Squadron, prepares to ride his motorcycle on May 6. Per AFI 91-207, personal protective equipment (PPE) consists of long sleeves, long pants, close toed shoes, helmet and goggles, and ideally some high-visibility and/or reflective material. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech Sgt. Trevor Saylor)

MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL AIR RESERVE STATION --

Now that the snow has finally melted, the weather is warm and the sun is shining, motorcycle riding season has official come to Minnesota!
For many Airmen that means dusting off their wheels and hitting the road, but before they do, they must be up-to-date on training requirements. To ensure Airmen have the tools needed to properly operate a motorcycle this season, the professionals at the 934th Airlift Wing Safety office are here to help.

Recently, the Air Force decided that Airmen should take a refresher course every five years, explained Master Sgt. Matthew Griffin, 934th Safety occupational safety craftsman. Many people around the base are overdue and have been riding under a waiver, however the waiver is expiring this September so all registered riders who have not taken a refresher course will need to complete one before then.
While many motorcycle training courses can cost Airmen several hundred dollars to register; on June 16, the Safety office will offer a free motorcycle refresher training course at St. Paul College that will feature a same day classroom and hands-on refresher sessions.
This course will be open to any experienced rider who is in need of the refresher training but they must be on active status, Griffin continued. So, Airmen are encouraged to plan ahead with their units since spots are limited.

Currently, the Air Force Reserve has approximately 480 Airmen who are overdue, and while many experienced riders feel confident in their riding abilities, accidents and life threaten mishaps are a real concern for any rider especial at the start of the season.

“In Minnesota we have pretty significant winters where we need to sand and salt the roads,” Griffin said. “So in the spring time the roads are in bad shape and there are a lot of accidents where people lose control.”
As experienced riders begin to take to the roads not only can they encounter dangerous post winter road conditions, but they also need to remember that riders can be almost invisible to cars and trucks.

Cars just don’t see motorcycles, Griffin explained. So getting turned into or cutoff is a real danger to riders. Airmen really have to be defensive when riding a motorcycle and this course helps sharpen their current skills.
“Over the last five years we been fortunate to have very few, if any, incidents here at the Wing,” said Staff Sgt. John Guion, 934th Safety occupational safety journeyman. “However, riders still should register with our office and make sure they have the latest training.”

To register for the refresher course Airmen can send an email to the Safety office at 934aw.se@us.af.mil. It is mandatory for Airmen to complete a refresher course every five years.

If you are unsure if you need to complete a refresher course please reach out to your unit Motorcycle Safety Representative; unsure who that person is, call the base Safety office at DSN: 783-1236 or commercial at 612-713-1236.