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Photo by Sgt. Dengrier M. Baez

MCAS Beaufort emphasizes safety during winter months

3 Nov 2016 | Lance Cpl. Ashley Phillips Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort

Well before daybreak, Marines are up in the morning with the rising sun con- ducting physical training to enhance their fitness. Since Marines “love to double time, because we do it all the time,” it is important for service members to follow safety measures, especially during the winter months. Low visibility will become a safety fac- tor as winter approaches and daylight hours are shortened. From now through the end of the calendar year, the sun will rise later and set earlier. Nov. 6 is also the end of daylight saving time in the U.S. which means the sun will set earlier in the evening. According to Marine Corps Installa- tions East, Marine Corps Base Camp Le- jeune Order 5560.2 Marines, sailors and civilian workers must wear a reflective belt while running or jogging from sun- set to sunrise or periods of low visibility. The reflective belt must be visible from a 360 degree field of view. The reflective belt ensures runners are visible to vehicle operators and pre- vents accidents since Marines PT before and after work, during hours of low visi- bility, and on busy roads. The reflective belt minimizes the chance that a vehicle driver will not see service members training. Marines need to maintain situational awareness whether training as a shop or a squadron. This is especially important as the cold, rainy weather and shorter days that accompany winter approach. The use of headphones and earbuds is not autho- rized while running on the roadways due to their sound cancelation which decreases situational awareness. Additionally, running on the roadway is prohibited if there is a sidewalk available. When there is not an available sidewalk, runners and jog- gers are to run on the extreme shoulder of the road- way against the flow of traffic. Running against the flow of traffic allows walk- ers and joggers to see approaching vehicles and helps them adjust their path should oncoming traf- fic not see them. Running and jogging on the roadways is prohibit- ed during periods of extremely low visibility such as dense fog or heavy rain. This ensures that the service members will not injure themselves on un- even surfaces and that they will not be stuck by an automobile. One of the most important safety procedures for Marines to follow is the proper use of Personal Protection Equipment. PPE are the items service members use to make sure they are safe while they conduct their daily activities. The proper PPE must be worn and the rules of the roadway adhered to whether conducting individual PT or group PT. Do your job to minimize accidents by being aware of the increased safety hazards during the winter months. Remember to take appropriate measures to minimize safety risks while conducting unit or individual PT and assist others in developing a safe PT plan. These safety protocols are set in place to ensure every Marine is safe and fit to fight.