NEWS | Feb. 7, 2018

Safety course keeps motorcyclists on track

By Airman Helena B. Owens Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

Joint Base Charleston in coordination with Trident Technical College, hosted The Basic Motorcycle Rider’s Course Feb. 3-4 at the Joint Base Charleston -- Weapons Station.

Students learn basic techniques on how to ride a motorcycle as well as basic safety requirements to operate a motorcycle. All service members are required to attend the class before operating a motorcycle.

“We strive for the highest standards on two wheels,” said Staff Sgt. Joshua O’Hara, 628th Air Base Wing safety office NCO in charge of safety and mishaps. “Motorcycles are risky, you might think what you’re doing is safe but without the proper training it can be very dangerous out on the road.”

The base provides 24 motorcycles for service members to take the course if they are considering purchasing a motorcycle or have never ridden before. This course is designed to teach everyone from beginners to experts how to operate a motorcycle safely.

“This is the first time I have ever ridden a motorcycle,” said Airman 1st Class David Prado, 437th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief. “It feels natural after the pointers they gave us. We started day one just walking the bike and learning basic maneuvers then proceeded to full operations by the middle of day two.”

Each service has different requirements for the amount of time allotted between the initial course BRC 1 and BRC 2, which is the next level course. Air Force members have a year to complete the upgraded course, for Navy, Marines, Army and Coast Guard, they have 60 days. The refresher course is required every five years for Air Force members and every three years for all other branches.

“Get your training and practice what you learned,” said Jeffery Phipps, a rider coach at Trident Technical College. “There is a difference between training and practice. Training is learning the techniques, practice is perfecting the learned techniques.”

Though the standards differ between branches with timelines, the goal of taking this course is to reinforce safe operations of a motorcycle. The hope of the refresher training is to reiterate the importance of safety and remind service members the basics.

“We are reducing the likely hood of loss of our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines to motorcycle crashes,” said Phipps. “The number of motorcycle incidents involving service members has gone down recently.”