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 that are 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 you approach from the rear and located to the formation's right when you approach it 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 only 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.

The formation may be one of several utilizing the street or even getting ready to cross an intersection, so don't presume you are being held up unnecessarily if not signaled to pass right away. If, while waiting behind the formation, you think that the leader is unaware of your presence, a quick toot of your horn will let him or her know of your desire to pass and 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 sitting in your vehicle. When it's hot they sweat, when it's cold they freeze and when it's raining they 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.