U.S. airmen assigned to Korea are prohibited from buying or drinking alcohol during their first 30 days here. The rule is part of a new introductory program for incoming troops and follows a string of rapes and other violent incidents involving U.S. Forces Korea personnel.
It was issued by the 7th Air Force commander, Lt.-Gen. Jan-Marc Jouas, to promote "mission readiness" as well as "safety, health, welfare, good order and discipline."
U.S. airmen who arrive in Korea are also under curfew from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m. and must attend classes to prevent sexual violence and are encouraged to tour the heavily armed border separating the two Koreas.
The U.S. Air Force is implementing the strict measures, because a series of incidents of violence and sexual assault have been committed by American soldiers under the influence of alcohol. Some American servicemen still view their tours in Korea as a chance to frequent brothels and indulge in heavy drinking, but the Air Force hopes to give troops a month to change their views.
Jouas said serving in Korea is a "serious mission" facing a dangerous enemy and urged his soldiers to fully understand the meaning of combat readiness.