Bliss motorcyclists haul out to White Sands for message of safety
Sgt. Erik Thurman,
15th Sus. Bde. Public Affairs:
Soldiers and civilians gathered at the Centennial Banquet and Conference Center at East Fort Bliss to participate in the installation’s annual Motorcycle Safety Ride June 28.
The event brought together riders from a number of different units and the Fort Bliss community for a day of camaraderie and the promotion of a responsible riding mindset.
An estimated 350 motorcycle riders staged their bikes in the parking area of the conference center. They received a safety briefing that explained the route to the pack of riders. Once engines fired up, the group exited East Fort Bliss and proceeded toward Highway 54 before continuing on toward White Sands Missile Range, N.M. Once the group arrived at White Sands, the riders conducted an after-action review. An AAR typically gives participants a chance to express the perceived pros and cons of the preceding event and hear suggestions on how safety can then be improved during the next iteration.
Riders from White Sands Missile Range joined the Fort Bliss riders and escorted them back to the Centennial Banquet and Conference Center parking area at East Fort Bliss where festivities awaited, which included food, beverages and a bike show.
“It’s an event that’s hosted annually to raise awareness about safety,” said Col. Brant Dayley, Fort Bliss garrison commander. “It’s also a fun event to build a little camaraderie and to have a rally.”
Dayley explained that the number of motorcycle riders in the military has increased every year. At one time it may have been a unit-level responsibility to conduct some type of training in terms of safety for riders, but as the population of riders grew within the Army, the need for a central program to educate riders and members of the community about riders became obvious, Dayley said.
“It’s also a way to advocate that it is a recreational activity as well as a means of transportation,” he said. “And you want to expose riders to safe behaviors and habits. It’s just like basic training, where Soldiers learn to pick their battle buddies wisely. It’s the same thing with riders. You want them to pick the right people to ride with and to operate safely.”
To learn more about motorcycle safety courses offered to Soldiers at Fort Bliss, visit https://apps.imcom.army.mil/AIRS.
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