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Photo by Sgt. Dengrier M. Baez

Marines saddle up for New Year

15 Jan 2016 | Lance Cpl. Jonah Lovy Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort

Returning to work after the holidays presents unique challenges. Service members have been away from their work stations enjoying time with friends or family. Re-focusing on the mission or task at hand is essential for productivity and safety remains extremely important.

Marines, sailors and civilian personnel aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort attended mission-oriented training upon returning to work from the end of the year holidays throughout the month of January. Back in the saddle training was developed to help service members re-examine the safety concerns around them.

“We know that everything’s been kind of [relaxed] for about a month,” said DelRoy Tingley, the explosive safety officer aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort. “Now we focus again on what we’re doing and how to do it safely.”

The training is composed of multiple elements; reviews of local standard operating procedures, walk-throughs of work areas, guided discussions led by staff noncommissioned officers and officers in charge, and voluntary protection program classes, said Stanley Dutko Jr., director of safety aboard MCAS Beaufort.

Subjects covered during the training included risk management, sexual assault and harassment prevention, Victims’ Legal Counsel Organization, off-duty education, and Semper Fit.

“The purpose of BITS training is to provide a reorientation period for all personnel, military and civilian,” said Dutko. “We want to focus on the ‘task at hand’ with an emphasis on policies, procedures, processes and safe operations.”

Back in the saddle training focuses on making sure every work station is safe in their day-to-day operations. Every unit has unique safety concerns and each individual command has an opportunity to brief their Marines separately.

“If you see something, say something and do something,” said Tingley. “You want to be concerned about your safety as well as the safety of those around you. It’s just like combat, if you’re watching his back and he’s watching yours, then things are better.”        

The training gave Marines perspective on what happened throughout the previous year, and what they can expect in the current year such as deployments and training. BITS training is held annually so Marines have the tools to maintain operational standards, unit readiness and the image the Corps has shaped over the past 240 years.

Training events are mandatory for all military personnel and Department of Defense civilians. For more information about specific dates and times, consult your chain of command.