A close-up of Kevin Picklesimer’s Harley Davidson motorcycle during inspection. Photo by Wesley Elliot, FFID Public Affairs.
FFID Public Affairs
The Future Force Integration Directorate deputy director, Col. Patrick Fetterman, led a group of FFID motorcyclists on a winding 40-mile ride up scenic Highway 28 to Old Mesilla, N.M., Aug. 14 to promote the Army’s new Motorcycle Mentorship Program.
The new Army-wide program encourages unit motorcycle riding clubs, which provide new riders access to mentorship and further training from more experienced riders within the unit.
The intent of the program is to promote safe and responsible motorcycling while off duty by providing role models to new motorcyclists.
To support the effort, FFID has begun conducting quarterly motorcycle mentorship rides to reinforce basic motorcycle skills and inspect riders’ motorcycles and personal protective equipment.
Aug. 14, the riders from FFID and the Army Evaluation Task Force met at the FFID complex to receive instruction on the day’s events and safety rules. The riders were walked through a checklist to inspect their motorcycles for safety issues.
Capt. Gregg Burnett, the unit’s Motorcycle Safety Foundation certified instructor, led the inspections of the motorcycles and personally pointed out common safety problems. A sample checklist can be found at the Army’s mentorship program Web site, https://safety.army.mil/mmp/.
Tom McFarland, an employee of the Future Force Integration Directorate and local road racer, inspects Col. Marissa Tanner’s Harley Davidson 1200 Sportster before FFID’s Aug. 14 unit ride. Photo by Wesley Elliot, FFID Public Affairs.
Tom McFarland, an employee of FFID and local road racer, talked about participating in local track days at Arroyo Seco racetrack in New Mexico. Track days are events where a closed- course racetrack allows motorcyclists to ride without other cars or obstacles in a safe environment.
Once the riders were briefed and inspected, they mounted their motorcycles and headed across Transmountain Road and up Highway 28 amid the scenic pecan orchards and farmlands.
This stretch of highway is one of the more scenic drives in the area for motorcyclists and treats them to miles of greenery and local beauty.
The ride ended with the riders presenting Fetterman with a picture to commemorate his mentorship and leadership, while Col. Marissa Tanner was named the new mentor.
Col. Patrick Fetterman, right, the Future Force Integration Directorate deputy director, leads a procession of FFID motorcyclists in front of the air defender statue by Pershing Gate during an Aug. 14 unit ride. Photo by Wesley Elliot, FFID Public Affairs.
Tanner said she hopes to continue these events to “boost unit camaraderie and to improve [FFID and AETF] riders’ motorcycle skills in the upcoming year.”
The Army’s motorcycle mentorship program Web site helps local commanders’ own motorcycle safety programs by providing tools and information.