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A spate of alcohol-related incidents at Kadena Air Base has triggered a response from the 18th Wing commander; he’s grounded everyone indefinitely for a “period of reflection.”
Kadena imposes curfew, alcohol ban for its airmen
Date Posted: 2010-09-30
Brigadier General Kenneth S. Wilsbach imposed the restrictions, which include an 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily curfew and a ban on alcohol consumption, on September 27th. Wilsbach’s policy, including the “period of reflection” for Air Force personnel assigned to Kadena Air Base, applies to all active duty Airmen either temporarily or permanently serving on Okinawa. It also applies to Guard and Reserve Airmen on Title 10 active duty status, but does not apply to Okinawa Airmen on leave or TDY outside Okinawa Prefecture.
There were five driving while intoxicated incidents on Kadena Air Base two weeks ago, and two more DUI incidents last weekend. There was also the incident where a U.S. Air Force captain assaulted a taxi driver and beat up on his taxi off-base.
The policy requires all Airmen to be on base or in their off-base residences between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., seven days a week, regardless of Blue or Silver Liberty Card status. The command stipulates the only authorized exceptions are for official duty, and airmen desiring such an exception must submit a letter to their unit commander. All Airmen are prohibited from consuming alcoholic beverages off base, except in on-base or off-base residences and at Okuma Recreation Area. Officials note this is a 24-hours-a-day prohibition, and not only during the curfew restriction hours. “In simple words,” the command says, “there is no drinking alcohol at any off-base drinking establishments or base clubs.”
Airmen issued blue or silver liberty cards may be off-base and outside of off-base quarters during restricted hours while in performance of their duties. When traveling during such periods, travel is authorized only directly to-and-from their destination, with no stops off-base permitted along the way. Unit Physical Training or individual PT, and purchasing meals during a duty period is considered official duty.
The Kadena policy applies only to U.S. Air Force personnel. Armed forces personnel of the Army, Navy and Marine Corps are not affected by the Air Force order, and it does not apply to civilian employees either.