(NationalUSNews.com) — In a recent internal policy memo, the entire 721st Aerial Port Squadron stationed in Ramstein, Germany, has been given severe alcohol use prohibitions. They are not allowed to consume alcohol within 8 hours of any shift, and consumption is not allowed outside their dorms or residences between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m. The memo cites “irresponsible” alcohol usage and states that the squadron is “putting the lives of our airmen at risk”.
While internal memos such as this are intended for an extremely limited readership, this one was uploaded to a popular Facebook group used by airmen to share insider information with each other. The story was later picked up and verified by Military.com, which is a 23-year-old news site that provides a wealth of daily defense news as well as benefit information and helpful resources and tools for veterans, current military members, and their families.
Lt. Cameron Silver, a spokesperson for the 521st Air Mobility Operations Wing, indicated that this new policy applies only to the airmen in the 721st Aerial Port Squadron and that infractions will be handled in a case-by-case manner. There is currently no time limit on alcohol restrictions, only a note that they will only be rescinded when “the trend is corrected.”
This is not the first time such a ban on alcohol consumption has been enacted by various branches of the military. These bans are usually short-term and focused on certain units under specific circumstances. There was one such ban in Okinawa in 2017 and another in Turkey in 2019. Retired Chief Master Sgt. Eric Benken believes there is a balancing act between “keeping morale high” and also prioritizing the safety of the airmen. While he says it may be drastic to get leadership involved in cases like this, there is responsibility for them as well as personal responsibility for the airmen. It is also important that the American military does not cause trouble or resentment among the surrounding communities, making the military bases unwelcome.
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