MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. --
Have you ever gone out to have a few drinks with your friends, only later to find out your plan to get home safely fell through? How are you going to get home? Do you let one of your inebriated friends drive you home? No, of course not. So what do you do?
A volunteer Airmen program, Airmen Against Drunk Driving, provides a free service available to fellow Airmen, seven days a week - holidays included - to help them get home safely.
If generals or airman basics attending tech school want to utilize A2D2, they could, said Senior Airman Randal Rose, 42nd Contracting Squadron contracting specialist and A2D2 president. The program is a no name basis program designed for Airmen of all ranks.
“The caveat to [this program] is we do not cater to civilians,” Rose said.
This service is not just a free ride for Airmen, it could save their careers by preventing them from receiving a ticket for driving under the influence, or worse, causing a fatal accident.
Senior Airman Jacob Bankson, 42nd CONS contract specialist, has utilized A2D2 services in the past.
After graduating Airman Leadership School here, Bankson and his girlfriend decided to go out and celebrate, but their plans to get home safely fell through when it just so happened another group was celebrating as well.
“They treated us to multiple drinks, so after a long night, we basically realized that there was no way we would be able to drive home,” Bankson said.
That’s when he called Rose, who took care of his fellow Airman by sending an A2D2 driver to pick up Bankson and his girlfriend.
“I would have had to pay for an Uber or a cab, so this free service was definitely helpful,” Bankson said.
A2D2 wouldn’t be what it is without its Airmen who volunteer for the program, Rose said. These
Airmen register on the A2D2 website and choose when they want to volunteer. Eventually, A2D2 will be open to allowing civilians to both volunteer and utilize the program.
As president of A2D2, Rose has the responsibility of keeping track of all the volunteers on the website and ensuring there are plenty of people available to help when needed.
“We can take as many people that want to volunteer,” said Senior Airman Bobby Ballow, 42nd CONS contracting specialist. “However, five drivers a night is more than enough.”
The program has changed from gathering all volunteers in one area to now allowing them to stay at home and dispatching from there.
When an individual or individuals need a ride, the volunteers get notified by phone call from a designated flight chief for the night, and told where to pick up and drop off. There is a 30 minute limit from Maxwell and Gunter for Airmen utilizing the program.
Within the past few years, the A2D2 team has seen a decrease in usage for their services.
“We have seen a steep decline in the usage of A2D2,” Rose said. “We are not sure if it’s because these Airmen are utilizing other avenues, such as Uber, preplanning, or if it because there is a negative stigma that is attached to A2D2.”
Although some Airmen may be leery of using the program, they are encouraged to have a plan no matter the circumstance to protect themselves and their careers.
“I would tell other Airmen to definitely have a plan, but if they fall through, call A2D2; they are always there,” Bankson said. “It is helpful and I have used it three or four times in my career, so I hope this program doesn’t go away.”
To volunteer for A2D2, visit their website at www.maxwell-guntera2d2.com, or by phone at 334-953-3913.