VILSECK, Germany – Motorcycle Mentorship Safety Day was hosted by the U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria Safety Office on Friday, May 14. This event consisted of morning riding drills at the Vilseck Airfield and an afternoon group mentorship ride off-post.
“We are really happy that we can hold the event this year, because it was unfortunately canceled last year due to increased COVID-19 density rates in the surrounding area,” said USAG Bavaria Safety Director Deborah Gonzales. “This event brings the installation together. It promotes mentorship, and it allows people the opportunity to have safe fun.”
To kick-off the event, USAG Bavaria Commander Col. Christopher Danbeck shared a few opening remarks.
“Have a lot of fun, and be safe out there,” Danbeck told the attendees. “Mentorship for motorcycle riders is very important. When you go back to your organizations, please continue to watch over the younger guys. You know the real deal – how to stay safe.”
He also drew the winning raffle tickets for five Harley Davidson T-Shirt prizes.
Then the group received a blessing from USAG Bavaria Chaplain Col. Shawn McCammon.
Before starting the hands-on drills, vehicle inspections were performed by a professional mechanic from the 405th Army Field Support Brigade, safety briefings were conducted by garrison safety officers, and course exercises were demonstrated by volunteer mentor coaches.
Participants then rotated between four different stations to practice components of total stopping distance, obstacle avoidance and evasive maneuvers. After each drill, riders received additional performance feedback from the mentor coaches.
A break was scheduled between the morning and afternoon sessions to allow riders an opportunity to eat lunch and refuel their motorcycles. And before departing for the 120 kilometer group ride off-post, Eschenbach Police Station Polizeihauptmeister Paul Zawal provided the group with one last refresher on German road laws and motorcycle safety. He also took questions at the end of his presentation.
USAG Bavaria Motorcycle Safety Day was open to all Department of Defense cardholding motorcyclists, which includes installations at Grafenwoehr, Vilseck, Hohenfels and Garmisch. Even motorcyclists from U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach partook in the event.
“We [motorcyclists] have a very tight knit group since there are only so many riders in the military community,” said Master Sgt. Robert Lewis, motorcycle safety program coordinator of 18th Military Police Brigade, 21st Theater Sustainment Command. “At the start of the season, it is all about refreshing basic skills, remembering safety protocols and building camaraderie.”
The Safety Office is looking for rider coaches, mentors and volunteers to assist the program. For more details on motorcycle safety, or if you want to foster a mentorship program within your unit, visit the USAG Bavaria safety website or contact the office at DSN 526-2303, CIV 09641-70-526-2303.
View more photos from 2021 Motorcycle Safety Day, here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmVFeEi2