Following a series of vehicle rollovers in January 2005, Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) implemented a road safety initiative which included adapting OnCourse’s Professional Driving Course into their own motor vehicle drivers safety course. Please note, this posting is not intended to imply an endorsement or recommendation.
Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa Motor Vehicle Drivers Safety Course. Story By: CJTF-HOA Motor Transportation. June 3, 2005.
CAMP LEMONIER, Djibouti. Driving in this AOR is not like driving in the States. Aside from the obvious differences like camels or goats strolling across the road unannounced and seemingly without a care in the world as to who has the right of way, the road conditions, the lighting and the drivers themselves present unique challenges for the safe operation of a vehicle.
These unpredictable conditions as well as driver inexperience in dealing with them contributed early on to a rash of motor vehicle accidents. The Commanding Officers of CJTF-HOA and Camp Lemonier saw that something needed to be done to better safeguard both the troops and property entrusted to their care.
After consulting with the respective Safety Office professionals, the CO’s directed that a Motor Vehicle Drivers Safety Course (MVDSC) be established and implemented without delay.
The first question was “how do we get one off the ground?” In the States, such a question could be answered relatively easily. The Command could have drawn from any number of Federal, State, or private safety training centres to get the ball rolling. However, here in the AOR, those resources were not readily available. But this lack of an easy solution did not deter the troops entrusted to provide, create and implement the best MVDSC.
After much research, it was determined that a company out of Uganda, named “On Course Consultancy Limited” provided a comprehensive “Professional Drivers Course.” This course was designed to teach those who attended it the fundamentals of good driving habits with an emphasis on safe motor vehicle operation here in Africa.
Gunnery Sgt. Jeffrey R. Hollifield of Camp Lemonier was chosen to attend the intensive one week course. When he returned from the training, he, along with Gunnery Sgt. Aaron VanNostrand, also of Camp Lemonier, and Chief Warrant Officer Bruce Pettus of HOA set to work in designing and implementing the MVDSC …
HOA’s new Commanding Officer Major General Ghormley is a strong supporter of the course and sees it as a practical way to train troops here in the AOR and equip them with the tools to protect themselves and others from unnecessary injury. In addition, Major General Ghormley and Colonel Dungan of Camp Lemonier see the MVDSC as a cornerstone in reaching their goal to cut the number of vehicle mishaps in half. Though it is still too early to quantify the overall impact of the course, judging from the positive feedback received from those who have taken it, the half a day invested in it is already paying dividends in the form of greater driver awareness to the unique challenges for safe driving here in this AOR.