Photo/Story Gallery 2002

“Ahoy Mates”

Lt. Leeper lectures on safe drivingLt. Bill Leeper, Office of Public Affairs, Troop G-Jacksonville, again had the opportunity of a lifetime, to travel to Spain courtesy of the United States Navy, to participate in their “Trooper Afloat” program.

Pictured: Lt. Bill Leeper lectures on safe driving.

This safe driving awareness program was developed many years ago by the United States Navy and allows a state trooper, from the state that the carrier battle group is based in, to conduct safe driving presentations to the men and women of those ships that had been out to sea on extended deployments. Many of these sailors haven’t driven an automobile in at least six months or may have driven in foreign countries, where the traffic laws aren’t quite the same as ours.

This was Lt. Leeper’s 4th “Tour of Duty” as he traveled back on the USS Saratoga in 1994, from Rota, Spain, and in 1997, 1999 and 2002 from Tarragona, Spain aboard the USS John F. Kennedy.

While on board the ship, Leeper conducted approximately 70 traffic safety presentations and lectures to over 7,000 sailors, as well as closed circuit TV broadcasts that were shown daily on the ship’s TV network. The topics included the laws on DUI, speed, seatbelts & child restraints, concealed weapons, crash reporting, insurance, driver license, vehicle registration, road rage, and motorcycles; as well as safe driving tips and showing videos on safe driving.

Lt. Leeper flew over to four other ships called “small boys” (the U.S.S. Seattle, U.S.S. Vicksburg, U.S.S. The Sullivans, and U.S.S. Hue City) to spend the day conducting safe driving briefs and taping television shows for later broadcast.

The Navy men & women showed the utmost respect toward the Florida Highway Patrol and many wanted to learn more about becoming a state trooper. They went out of their way to ensure Lt. Leeper was as comfortable as possible and had a safe cruise. He met many new friends that he can now proudly call SHIPMATES!