Army’s new deal renovates motorcycle safety

Christine June
U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern

***image1***For those who were born to ride, the Army has just made it easier for them to take the Motorcycle Safety Foundation Training Courses.

Availability is key among the benefits of the mandatory course with Cape Fox Professional Services for the Army Traffic Safety Training Program.

“They (Army) adopted the program because it was something that was deemed necessary to save lives,” said Mike Tyler, one of two Stateside instructors who recently taught the first MSF course under the new contract in Kaiserslautern.

In the past, the Army relied on trained volunteers to teach the safety courses.

But, the Army can’t always count on there being trained MSF instructors at every installation, Mr. Tyler said.

The Installation Management Command-Europe is responsible for this program at garrisons throughout Europe. This includes the safety of personnel assigned to tenant commands on installations receiving base operations support from garrisons’ safety offices. Contract instructors will work with garrison safety offices to provide traffic safety programs like MSF and the new intermediate driver’s training now required for Soldiers, under the age 26.

A corps of rotating instructors has launched programs in Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, and now in Germany.

This course is mandatory for those who ride motorcycles with a U.S. Army Europe driver’s license. Those eligible to take the free course are U.S. ID cardholders who have passed USAREUR’s motorcycle written and riding tests. Soldiers are not required to take leave to attend the course, according to the IMCOM-Europe Web site.

“It teaches everyday motorcycle riding like braking, swerving, cornering and maneuvering,” said Winston Clement, garrison Kaiserslautern’s safety specialist.

The six-hour course is divided into classroom instruction and nine riding exercises, starting with control at low speeds and ending with multiple curves.

“(The MSF course) helps you to be more aware of what happens on the street,” said Staff Sgt. Kenneth Wideman, a MSF student from the 226th Medical Logistics Battalion.

To receive the MSF card and subsequently, the license endorsement, students must pass the skills evaluation and written test given at the end of the course.

In the past, riders were required to take the test every three years. That could change, said Master Sgt. Bruce Carlson, with the garrison Kaiserslautern’s Directorate of Public Works and a MSF volunteer instructor.

“The Army is in the process of changing the regulation to stipulate that Soldiers have to take this course every year,” he said.

The next course is Monday. More courses will be scheduled during the motorcycle season, generally from March to October. For course dates, visit