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YOKOSUKA, Japan - Vice Adm. Scott H. Swift, commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, has temporarily modified the liberty policy for all U.S. military personnel assigned to 7th Fleet while a focused leadership review of the effectiveness of current policies, programs, and training is conducted.
This review is part of a Pacific Fleet-wide leadership effort to prevent personal destructive behavior and to specifically reduce serious incidents that have recently occurred.
"Well over 99 percent of 7th Fleet Sailors on a daily basis conduct themselves in accordance with our core values and exceedingly high standards," said Swift. "Unfortunately, an incredibly small minority of Sailors have had serious liberty incidents that have the potential to affect our relationships with allied partner nations and our war-fighting readiness. These measures will allow us to have a full leadership review from the deck plate to the senior commander on how to minimize these serious incidents and stop the minority who choose not to adhere to our long-established core values from defining the vast majority of my Sailors who continue to attain standards of conduct from any organization would be proud to emulate."
These temporary restrictions require all military personnel with any alcohol-related incidents within the last three years be placed on Class "C" liberty risk status which requires these Sailors to remain on a military installation or with their unit unless they have permission from their leadership to conduct liberty.
"Because of the recent incidents all included the misuse of alcohol, we are ensuring those that had previous alcohol related incidents, and are at highest risk, are individually reviewed to determine their current risk," said Swift.
These restrictions are expected to be of a short duration while leadership reviews consistent standards for liberty that fully supports war-fighting readiness.
In addition, the consumption of alcohol is prohibited from 2200-0800 daily for all 7th Fleet assigned personnel. During the United States Forces Japan off-installation curfew hours of 2300 to 0500, Sailors must be on base or in their government-provided off-base residences, unless they have a pre-approved request chit from their chain of command.
"Limiting destructive personnel behavior, to include alcohol related incidents is an all hands effort that will require every 7th Fleet Sailor to demonstrate proactive leadership in developing and sharing more positive options that prevent incidents while minimizing the negative impact on the vast majority of 7th Fleet Sailors who continue to conduct themselves in a manner and decorum that makes me extremely proud to identify myself as one of them," said Swift.
Sailors in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility should contact their chain of command for specific questions and guidance regarding their individual situations.