Approach troop formations with caution

  • Published
  • By Mike Seekamp
  • 82nd Training Wing Safety Office
No matter where you go, you may have to wait in line. Even when we are driving, waiting in line is always a possibility while on Sheppard.

In your travels around the base, sooner or later you are sure to encounter one of the many troop formations marching to and from training. They may be on the move, or paused near an intersection, but they still demand your attention behind the wheel.

The focal point when approaching a troop formation is the "student leader" in charge, who will be located to the left of the formation when approaching from the rear, and located to the formation's right when approaching head on. This person will make periodic checks of vehicles approaching the formation from the front and rear and will signal to vehicle operators when they have permission to pass the group.

The speed limit when passing students marching in formation is 10 mph, no matter how big a hurry you think you might be in. Do not attempt to pass any troop formation unless the student leader signals you to do so.

If while waiting behind the formation, you think that the leader is unaware of your presence, a quick honk of your horn will let them know of your desire to pass, and this is certainly better than just driving around out of frustration.

Remember Airmen marching in formation do not have protection from the elements that you do while sitting in your vehicle. When it's hot they sweat, when it's cold they freeze, and when it's raining outside they all get wet. All the while you are sitting in your climate-controlled environment complaining about being delayed.

As a reminder, they are the reason we are here in the first place; training. It's Sheppard's mission for the Air Force. Be patient, enjoy your ride, and remember the express line is at the commissary not behind a marching formation.