Kingsley Field and Team Oregon partner to enhance safety skills of motorcyclist
By SrA Penny Snoozy, 173FW/PA
/ Published June 16, 2015
16/06/2015 -- KINGSLEY FIELD, Ore. -- The Air Force's 101 Critical Days of Summer fall between May 25 and Sept. 7. This time period is so named because long days and beautiful weather increase the amount of time members spend outdoors and on the road, and that means more accidents. This year the 173rd Fighter Wing wants to put motorcycle safety front and center in an effort to reduce the risks inherent to riding.
The wing has reached out to Team Oregon for a "Rider Skills Practice" course. This course provides motorcyclists with additional training that is now required for guard members who choose to ride.
According to Senior Master Sgt. Pete Weigman, 173rd FW member and a Team Oregon Instructor, "Team Oregon can help you ride safer, smarter, and more skillfully."
Weigman says motorcycle safety is very important to him having lost friends and family to motorcycle crashes. "There are a lot of inherent risks associated with motorcycle riding and I hope my fellow Kingsley riders are able to take something from this training in order to help keep them safe out there when they ride," says Weigman.
Team Oregon is a cooperative partnership with the Oregon Department of Transportation and Oregon State University that provides basic to advanced courses for motorcyclists.
"Team Oregon has worked with the base to provide discounted training in a local setting. They have been very flexible and have offered our members top-notch training," says Senior Master Sgt. John Carter, 173rd FW Safety Office.
"Team Oregon has always had an excellent community outreach program to meet the needs of agencies like ours. We've been working much closer with them since the enactment of more stringent AFI training requirements," says Weigman.
Professional instructors supervise the "on-cycle" half-day session where they test the riders' knowledge from the first exercise to the last. Exercises build critical crash-avoidance skills such as stopping quickly, swerving effectively, and cornering skillfully. Airmen complete a timed riding circuit at the beginning and end of the course to measure their improvement throughout the course.
Carter says the course is for experienced riders, practicing more advanced skills than a basic riding course and is "a valuable part of our mishap prevention."
Team Oregon's Pat Hahn says that they "are not a military organization, but [this course] is a way for us to serve the people who serve our country."
Chief Warrant Officer Joe Zeiner, Safety Specialist, ORARNG State Safety Office, says they "are proud of their motorcycle safety record... and all [reported accidents] were minor." Zeiner attributed this success to their partnership with Team Oregon.
There are new requirements for motorcyclists. If you are a motorcyclist at Kingsley Field and have not taken this course, or have any other requirements for your motorcycle safety training please contact the 173rd FW Ground Safety Office.