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Weather is just warming up: Take time to warm up safety skills this spring

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Feugate-Opperman
  • 90th Missile Wing Safety
Spring is officially here, and many of us are ready to leave the house to enjoy the warmth and sunshine we missed during the winter. If this is your first year at F. E. Warren, you may be surprised to know that even though the calendar reads April, we likely have not seen the last of winter.

According to 1st. Lt. Eric Miller, 90th Operation Support Squadron Weather Flight commander, April sees an average of 9.1 inches of snow. In fact, snow has been reported at the Cheyenne Airport at least once every month of the year.

Spring snow tends to be heavy, wet and melts quickly. Meaning you need to keep your winter driving skills tuned up, your survival gear in both your government owned vehicle and personally owned vehicle and be aware that you may encounter muddy roads. Even though this Air Force Global Strike Command base has not had a rollover in more than two years, the last one we had was during the spring.

The weather can change quickly. When I was stationed here previously, I remember a day that started out sunny, beautiful and with me in a pair of shorts; by the end of the day we had so much snow I had to shovel just to get out of the driveway. To stay on the safe side, make sure you have a jacket in the car so you are prepared for this transitioning weather.

On the sunny days, many base members transition from four-wheel vehicles to two. If you are a motorcycle rider, please remember even if you are experienced, you may be a little out of practice since the bike has been in the garage for about the last six months. Spend a couple of hours revisiting the basics of riding. In the last month, the Air Force experienced three active-duty deaths due to poor decisions while operating their motorcycles. Please don't let rusty motorcycle riding skills add to this total.

Also, don't forget to wear proper personal protection equipment. Air Force Instruction 91-207, The U.S. Air Force Traffic Safety Program, mandates the personal protective equipment for all riders on-base and military members at all times as follows: helmet, eye protection, long sleeved shirt or jacket, long trousers, full-fingered gloves, over the ankle footwear and finally brightly-colored outer, upper garment during the day and a reflective upper garment during the night. These rules are also extended to apply to any type of two-wheeled motorized vehicle, including mopeds and motor scooters.

Much like motorcycles, as the weather gets nicer, more bicyclists are out and about. It's not just motorized vehicles that require helmets; anyone on base who rides a bike must wear a helmet, too. Also, keep in mind these safe bike riding tips from Capt. Bryant Bevan, 90th Missile Wing Flight Safety officer, and avid bike rider: ride with, not against, traffic; always use hand signals when turning and stopping; and probably most important, even though a bike rider may have the right of way, a car is bigger and can hurt if it hits you. Be aware of traffic around you, and if that car coming towards you isn't yielding, you probably should.

Finally, did you know that AFGSC also requires helmets while roller skating, in-line skating or skateboarding? That's right. The 90th Security Forces Squadron periodically does safety enforcement patrols to identify personnel not utilizing proper safety equipment. Having to explain to your supervisor why your child was written up for not wearing a helmet is not the best way to get face time with the boss.

Spring is here, enjoy it, but please be safe. And as always, the safety office is here to answer any of your questions. We can be reached at 773-1842 or at