Curfew and alcohol ban for US air force personnel in South Korea

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 27 July, 2014, 5:49am
UPDATED : Sunday, 27 July, 2014, 5:49am


US airmen assigned to South Korea are banned from buying or drinking alcohol during their first 30 days in the country under a new rule underscoring the "serious mission" the troops face.

The programme was meant to promote "mission readiness" as well as "safety, health, welfare, good order and discipline", Captain Ray Geoffroy said.

The rule is part of an orientation programme for incoming troops launched by regional US air force commander Lieutenant General Jan-Marc Jouas.

"Airmen must understand the threat when they come here," Jouas said. "Airmen assigned to Korea must understand what it means to be ready to fight."

The rules come amid concern over alcohol-fuelled sexual assaults in the military as well as persistent worries over North Korea, which has conducted missile, rocket and heavy artillery tests over the past month.

The new policy, which took effect his month, included a daily curfew from 10pm to 5am, training for sexual assault prevention and "alcohol awareness", the air force said.

The orientation also strongly recommends that arriving personnel tour the demilitarised zone that separates South and North Korea.

"We are guests here and not only do our actions matter, they have strategic implications," Jouas said. "This is a fresh start, to change the tone in Korea and leave a culture that is better than how we found it."