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Jerry Ritschel, an instructor and facilitator for Cape Fox Professional Services, instructs Sgt. Joseph M. Lidy, the air traffic control repair staff noncomissioned officer in charge with Marine Air Support Squadron 6, Marine Air Control Group 48, 4th Marine Aircraft Wing, on proper riding form during the Basic Rider’s Course at the Motorcycle Safety Range aboard the air station May 6.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Manuel F. Guerrero

Motorcycle Awareness Month

15 May 2009 | Lance Cpl. Manuel F. Guerrero

The air station will continue its aggressive safety campaign during Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month by hosting a free event May 19  featuring demonstrations by professional riders, motorcycle vendors, safety booths and information on future courses aboard the air station.

The event focuses on motorcycle safety and awareness for riders and non-riders alike. Screenings of “Semper Ride” are scheduled at 9 a.m., 1 p.m., and 4 p.m. at the Bob Hope Theater.

Headquarters Marine Corps teamed up with Cape Fox Professional Services for the United States Marine Corps “Semper Ride” movie premier and motorcycle demos.

“Everything that is said in the movie has to do with education and training,” said Jerry Ritschel, an instructor and facilitator for Cape Fox Professional Services. “As the movie explains, it’s not the bike, it’s who’s sitting in the seat controlling the bike.”

Due to the increase in motorcycle deaths in the Marine Corps, the safety office will continue its efforts on helping Marines realize the importance of motorcycle safety, commented Matt McMullen, the motorcycle safety instructor with the station safety department.

“In accordance with motorcycle safety, the air station has implemented riding courses in the past couple of years,” said McMullen.  “The implemented courses help Marines understand how to properly ride their motorcycles.”

Marines must go through the motorcycle simulator before enrolling in the Basic Rider’s Course, explained Ritschel. Marines can contact their unit’s ground safety manager to schedule a date on the simulator. Service members must also go through the simulator once annually.

Service members aboard the air station, who purchase a motorcycle, must enroll in the Basic Rider’s Course. The Marine will not be charged leave while attending the three-day course per Marine Corps Order 5100.19E.

After 120 days of completing the course, it is recommended that service members further their motorcycle riding skills by enrolling in the Experienced Rider’s Course or the Military Sports Bike Rider’s Course, added McMullen.

“We always get positive feedback from motorcyclists that have taken our courses and employed our techniques, and because of that they have avoided serious accidents,” said Ritschel. “That’s what it’s all about.”

For more information on enrolling in courses, contact McMullen at 858-577-1358.


3rd Marine Aircraft Wing