Story by Petty Officer 3rd Class Aime Lykins

PACIFIC OCEAN – More than 40 Sailors on board USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) gathered in the ship’s training resource complex to talk about motorcycle safety, Oct. 3.

The Sailors; a mixture of new, and experienced riders; came together to network, discuss Washington state licensing procedure, outline Navy mandated safety requirements and sign up for further training courses.

“We are really talking about [operational risk management] ORM,” said Senior Chief Thomas Funderburk, from Hinesville, Georgia, John C. Stennis’ motorcycle safety coordinator and motorcycle rider since 1985. “Everything you are taught with ORM in the Navy is thinking about what you are getting ready to do. You have to make plans. Even if the environment changes while you are out there riding, if you at least have a plan and proper training…you have an idea of what adjustments you need to make to stay safe.”

Five motorcycle safety representatives (MSR) attended the meeting and shared experiences from their motorcycling history to help junior riders with topics such as selecting proper personal protective equipment (PPE), dealing with mishaps and the process of becoming a registered John C. Stennis motorcyclist.

“We have 88 registered riders,” said Funderburk. “Since we have been back from deployment, we are offering refresher courses so that we can be 100 percent compliant with the [motorcycle safety] program. It is my goal that every rider is trained, educated and has a better chance of survival on the road.”

After the safety presentation, new riders paired up with experienced riders as part of the motorcycle mentorship program designed to help new riders stay safe, informed and understand the responsibilities and risks of riding on and off base.

“I’m definitely going to sign up for the [basic motorcycle safety] course,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Jacob Patrick, from Kendallville, Indiana. “The biggest thing I learned from attending this training is how big the network of riders is on board. There is more support for riders than I thought, and they put out really good information that is relevant to motorcyclist to let them know what is going on out on the road.”

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