Getting down and dirty: Off-Road Safety Course

  • Published
  • By Airman James Salellas
  • 17th Training Wing Public Affairs

Goodfellow Air Force Base is revving its engines with a new utility task vehicle and remotely operated vehicle safety course requirement. A new mandate makes the Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association course a requirement for all Department of Defense personnel operating off-road vehicles. This initiative, designed to enhance service members' knowledge and skill set regarding off-road vehicles, will bolster safety measures across the Air Force and all Department of Defense bases worldwide. 

Goodfellow has proactively prepared its personnel for careers involving Recreational Off-Highway Vehicles,by offering courses developed by ROHVA. By participating, Airmen gain the skills and knowledge required to safely and efficiently operate these vehicles.

The ROHVA courses are traditionally associated with off-road enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers. Still, the decision to integrate them into their training curriculum signifies a growing recognition of the importance of UTV and ROV operations in military and civilian contexts.

“If you know how to safely operate them, there's less of a chance of someone possibly getting hurt,” said Adam Jara, 17th Training Wing chief of safety. “ROHVA offers training to teach people how to operate a ROV, UTV or ATV safely. The Air Force has experienced some problems and injuries in the past operating these vehicles, and ROHVA’s mission is to prevent that from happening again and teach proper safety operations.”

By integrating ROHVA courses, Goodfellow prepares its personnel for the military's evolving needs and contributes to a safer and more responsible UTV and ROV community. In an era where off-highway vehicle accidents and incidents are rising, emphasizing safety and responsible use is important.

“We use ROHVA pretty heavily on Goodfellow,” said Senior Airman Ethan Sherwood,  17 TRW public affairs. “Out at Joint All Domain Exercise, Forward Operation Readiness Generation, the instructors and trainees use them to travel efficiently. It’s very important that they know the proper operating procedures to avoid incidents.”

Incorporating these courses into training reflects the broader influence of recreational off-highway vehicles within military operations. ROVs are utilized in various roles including search and rescue missions, border patrol and access to remote or rugged terrains where traditional vehicles may struggle. 

Goodfellow has held five iterations of the course and has graduated 39 members, with plans to continue training and preparing personnel in ROV safety.