Green Knights MMC fosters accountability

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Ian Dudley
  • 30th Space Wing Public Affairs
Motorcycle clubs have a long and varied history, dating back to World War II, with many being founded by veterans such as Rolling Thunder, American Legion Riders and Patriot Guard Riders.

The Green Knights Military Motorcycle Club is one such military motorcycle organization, that anyone with a bike and base access, may join.

"The Green Knights was started as a club by Adam Buehler when he was stationed at McGuire AFB in 1999," said John Turner, Joint Functional Component Command for Space missile warning specialist and vice president of the club on Vandenberg. "It has blossomed from the single organization he started at McGuire, to cover just about every active duty military base. There are 125 chapters worldwide in the USAF, Army, Navy active, reserve and guard bases. There are even some international chapters with allies such as the Royal Air Force, Irish Defense Force, Belgium military, and the Canadian Forces of Canada. It is a Department of Defense recognized motorcycle club because of the mission of the Green Knights, which is to provide a safety focus and mentorship for new riders as well as continued education."

The Air Force recognized that the Green Knights chapters could enhance the wing's approach to motorcycle safety and rider skills by relying on the knowledge of experienced riders.

"Motorcycle safety is less about skill and more about attitudes," said Bill Stark, 30th Space Wing chief of pad safety and Green Knights chapter treasurer. "Experienced riders passing along knowledge and positive riding attitudes to younger riders, is probably going to be the key way we are going to keep our accident rates low. Vandenberg is one of the forefront bases in terms of low mishap rates."

Working in tandem with wing safety, the Green Knights offer a more intuitive approach to meeting Air Force requirements, while bringing riders together and fostering accountability.

"Camaraderie, mentorship, safety and continued training are the focus areas," said Turner. "The biggest part of it is camaraderie; if you get folks together that have a common interest it's easier to become friends and also to hold each other accountable. When they get together to ride they are going to do it in a safe manner. There is also safety in numbers, when you go out on a group ride you have a lot of headlights pointing down the road. The first words uttered by someone that pulls out in front of a motorcycle are usually, 'I didn't see them'."

Staff Sgt. Christopher Curtis, 30th Logistics Readiness Squadron NCOIC of inbound surface cargo and president of the Vandenberg chapter, is fostering a community that caters to the needs of its members.

"We all have a lot of similar stressors in our lives, and many people that ride use it as an outlet for stress," said Curtis. "We want to come together with that as our commonality. We have all types of bikes, some guys ride sport bikes and some guys have cruisers, or adventure bikes. We are an organization that includes all different bike types and plan rides based on what people want."

The Green Knights MMC grew to an international level since its formal recognition by the DOD in 2000 and the club is always looking to add new members.

"Our numbers on Vandenberg are small now," said Turner. "But we are ready to welcome anyone who wants to join and look forward to riding with long-time resident riders as well as those new to the area to show them some of the choice roads and spots to grab a burger."

For more information on the Green Knights or how to join, contact Staff Sgt. Christopher Curtis at 805-606-7153