July 17, 2015 --
Active-duty Marines aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany completed Level 3 Motorcycle Training, July 15, as part of a safety education requirement for riders throughout various branches of the military.
Facilitators/motorcycle safety instructors Dave Saam and Steve Brown, Total Control Advanced Riding Clinic, based out of Victorville, California, lead the participants in both classroom instruction and on-the-road techniques designed to optimize safe handling of their bikes.
William Womble, traffic safety program manager, Risk Management Office, MCLB Albany, gave an overview and the purpose of offering the advanced-level course to the installation's active-duty population.
“Level-3 Motorcycle Training is an advanced motorcycle (course) for riders,” Womble said. “It's being given primarily to the Marines right now. This training reinforces and teaches them new skills for driving at higher (rates of) speed out on the highway.
“It is not actually a certification, but it does count as part of the continuing education of motorcycle training,” he added. “Every three years, active-duty Marines are required to have continuation training; this fills that requirement. In the past, we have only been able to offer Level-2 training every three years, but this is a new program we are trying to get established throughout the Marine Corps.”
Womble said, although the training is mandatory for active-duty Marines and Sailors, it is not a requirement for MCLB Albany's civilian motorcyclists.
“Civilian riders aboard the installation are not required to have the Basic Riders Course - Level-1 Training to ride on the base,” Womble pointed out. “A lot of civilians will take the training on their own out in town and that assists them in getting their driver's license. The BRC policy and procedures in the State of Georgia, (which) are taken through a state-mandated program (do not require) a riding course; (riders) just have to take a written exam.
“Civilian riders are only required to have a valid driver's license and motorcycle registration to ride on (this) installation,” Womble concluded.
One rider taking the advanced course commented on the training and what he hoped to gain from the activity.
“I'm taking the Level-3 Motorcycle Training Total Control Course,” Staff Sgt. Mark Williams, Marine technical specialist, light armored vehicle, Weapons Systems Management Center, said. “The biggest take-away this course offers is instilling comfort on the motorcycle and what it can do on the road, how it can handle and how to control an uncontrollable situation, because we never know what’s going to come down the road - where the little bugs are (located) on the road. So, this gives us better preparation for the unknown that could happen and being comfortable with it.
“This morning, we got into a method of (hands-on) training called trail braking,” Williams explained. “This is a way to use the brakes and throttle through a turn to keep the motorcycle stable and enable turning a little faster, which is a more sophisticated task. It's not something they teach in the basic courses I've (completed).”
The one-day course included instruction on riding techniques and skill improvement on traction, throttle control, fear, concentration, attitude, body positions, steps to proper cornering and overall safe handling of the motorcycle on the road.