Navy’s cracks down hard; Late evening drinking banned for Navy sailors

There’s no fooling around by U.S. Naval Forces Japan, which has instituted strong restrictions against its active duty personnel, who are now under tighter base controls and limited drinking rules.

The new edict came Monday following another week of incidents involving Marines and sailors, tightening the rules on alcohol consumption, prohibiting it completely from 10 p.m. ~ 8 a.m., even in homes and quarters.  A U.S. Naval Forces spokesman says the new rules apply to all military personnel, regardless of their leave or liberty status.  The Navy rules come on top of the country-wide 11 p.m. ~ 5 a.m. curfew that applies to all military personnel from all services stationed in Japan.

The new batch of restrictions mandate that all Navy personnel must be in their homes or dormitories, or in off-base quarters for the curfew hours.  Sailors on leave or in transit must be in a hotel that’s been pre-approved by the military command.  Gone, for sailors, are the privileges of merely being off the street in an establishment of any sort.

Principal points to the new USNJ directives are that:

• All sailors that have had an alcohol related incident in the past three years are placed on Class C liberty.

• Every command is expected to do an immediate and thorough review and adjust the liberty status of your sailors.

• Commands have been directed to call sailors in off liberty or local leave as needed to adjust their status.

• Units were directed to provide a list of effected sailors up your chain of command no later than 3 p.m. Monday.

• Effective immediately the curfew now requires that sailors be on a base or in their government-provided off base berthing from 2300 to 0500 regardless of liberty status. Sailors on leave or transit must be in a hotel that is pre-approved by their chain of command.

• Consumption of alcohol is prohibited from 2200 to 0800, regardless of leave or liberty status.

The new policies invoke a major command involvement, directing that:

• Immediate chain of command (division) will be placed in duty status and recalled when an incident occurs.

• Entire part of unit (department) will be placed in duty status and recalled if a second incident occurs in that department.

• Entire command will be placed in duty status and recalled if third incident occurs in a command.

In addition to the curfew, U.S. forces here have begun late-night patrols in Naha City during curfew hours, an addition to the courtesy patrol system that’s long been in effect in communities adjacent to military bases.  Plain-clothes military personnel drawn from all branches of the military here are walking the streets during the 11 p.m. ~ 5 a.m. curfew to be sure soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines are not out in violation of the directives.