• Motorcycle safety DVD featuring riders from MacDill AFB

    MacDill riders
  • MacDill riders

It was lights, cameras and action on the set at MacDill AFB the end of January and early February as trained motorcyle riders revved their high-powered bikes and dashed through a makeshift road course on the flightline.

Their movie is destined for DVD release in the spring, although you will not find it at your local video store because the film is a safety and skills training tool for the Air Force and Department of Defense.

Richard Garsnett, a safety and occupational health specialist at Scott AFB, Ill., is heading up the effort, headlined by pro rider Dennis Kuhn and several volunteer riders from MacDill AFB.

"We selected (MacDill AFB) for its diversity and the various services represented here," Mr. Garsnett said. "We got what we wanted in a very diversified group of sport bike riders."

The script was simple. Send the volunteer riders through a training course designed to challenge riding and safety skills, but foul weather threatened to let down the crew looking for sunny Florida skies for a backdrop. But by Feb. 1, the clouds parted and it was a wrap.

"We got some beautiful sunshine and just what we wanted for the video," Mr. Garsnett said.

The safety program DVD got its start last year when a Tiger Team was formed of members from several major commands to map out a sports bike program. MacDill AFB Senior Master Sgt. Bryan Osborne, named rider coach of the year in 2006, is a member. There were several goals of the program, but reducing the number of accidents and saving lives are the primary objective.

A training policy, methodology and curriculum were created and an instructional video was scripted. The target audience is Airmen aged 27 and under, as they make up the majority of sport bike enthusiasts.

"Mostly were talking about younger people," Mr. Garsnett said. "They are into the scene and have the performance bikes we are talking about."

It’s that performance that often leads to disaster, he added, which is why the safety video and riding training is so important.

"It’s easy to get into trouble on these machines," he said.

The power and speed modern sport bikes can achieve must be respected, said Master Sgt. James Middleton, a safety specialist with the MacDill AFB Safety Office. He heads the motorcycle safety course held monthly on base that has trained many servicemembers in proper safety and accident avoidance techniques.

"It’s a big area of safety concern in the Air Force," he said. "Motorcycle accidents and fatalities are a reality."

Mr. Garsnett said the $300,000 video production is scheduled for completion at the end of February. The DVD will be used throughout the Air Force, and hopefully by other branches of the military.

Source: www.af.mil

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