By Capt. Bryant Wine
The Georgia Department of Defense and U.S. Air Force Reserve’s 94th Airlift Wing hosted a joint motorcycle safety “dust off” event April 1, 2021, at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta, Georgia. Open to service members, DoD civilians, retirees and family, the event promoted motorcycle safety, awareness and fellowship.
“This event is to get people back into riding mode for the season and to interact with other riders,” said U.S. Army Col. John Till, the safety officer for the Georgia Department of Defense. “Some folks aren’t familiar with what’s available out there for safety classes, insurance and legislation for motorcycle riders, so we’re exposing new riders to this while reminding experienced riders.”
Organized by the base’s joint motorcycle safety council, this year’s “dust off” is the ninth in the event’s history. The council also hosts basic rider courses throughout the year, as well as concludes motorcycle season with a “bed down” event.
“This event introduces them [attendees] to our coaches and to the courses we offer to the group so they can spread the word to other service members and their families,” said Till.
Along with outlining classes available to service members, the “dust off” event went over basic safety and motorcycle maintenance precautions. The emphasis here is that rider education, helmets, jackets, gloves and boots are the foundational necessities to ride motorcycles safely.
The “dust off” event hosted guest speakers to discuss lesser known or easily forgotten information pertaining to the motorcycle community. This included topics on insurance, passed and pending legislation, tourism, and networking and advocacy groups.
Spectators grasped the importance of the event and felt the class offered valuable information.
“I definitely liked hearing about the insurance portion because sometimes we don’t do enough to insure ourselves,” said U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Kevin Broadaway, a military policeman with the Georgia Army National Guard’s Decatur-based Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 170th Military Police Battalion, 201st Regional Support Group. “This is about making sure we’re all safe. If we lose one person in the force, we will all mourn their loss because we are all brothers and sisters here.”
The event offered fellowship across joint spectrum, as well as between the civilians and military members. Safety is a cornerstone in protecting all people, and ensures acceptable readiness standards of the military community in Georgia.
Ranking leaders joined the event, to include: U.S. Air Force Col. Craig McPike, commander of the 94th Airlift Wing; U.S. Army Col. Jason Fryman, commander of the Georgia Army National Guard’s 78th Aviation Troop Command; Col. Barry Simmons, the chief information officer of the Georgia Army National Guard; and Chief Warrant Officer 5 Mark Morris, the aviation safety officer of the 78th Aviation Troop Command.
“This event has everything to do with readiness,” said Till. “If we lose a person because of a motorcycle accident, then that’s going to affect the readiness of the unit.”