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Australian troops have been banned from drinking alcohol during operations and military exercises

Australian troops have been banned from drinking alcohol during operations and military exercises

They will be permitted two drinks on a national holiday and the new rules have sparked outrage.

Australian troops who have been deployed on operations or engaged in exercises will be banned from drinking alcohol.

The Australian reports the new directive has been brought in in the wake of the Brereton war crimes report.

The damning investigation found the Special Air Service personnel in Afghanistan had lax attitudes within the regiment and there was widespread drinking

That group has been accused of 39 murders during their deployment.

As a result, the Australian Army will be banning troops from drinking booze.

PJF Military Collection / Alamy Stock Photo

The only time alcohol will be permitted during 'warlike operations' will be for communal wine in religious services.

During non-warlike operations, troops will be allowed to have a maximum of two standard drinks each on holidays like Australia Day, Anzac Day and Christmas Day.

However, for this to happen, a risk assessment must be submitted 21 days before the national event.

The top brass in the Army will be tasked with enforcing the new booze ban and they'll be allowed to conduct random breath tests to see if anyone is flouting the rules.

The Australian obtained the Chief of Joint Operations’ directive through a Freedom of Information request.

It states: "A member who fails to maintain a zero (blood alcohol count) through random testing will have administrative action commenced against them resulting in potential removal from the operation, exercise or activity."

If anyone refuses to undertake a random alcohol test then they will be 'removed from the workplace immediately and be banned from access to weapons and ammunition, and access to vehicles'.

Duty free goods seized by the British Army after Iraqis allegedly looted alcohol from Basra International Airport in southern Iraq.
PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

The new rules have sparked outrage amongst some.

Retired Special Forces officer Heston Russel told 6PR Radio he's concerned this is 'command and leadership from afar'.

"It’s a policy that generalises some individual issues and wipes a brush over everyone else," he said during the breakfast programme.

Afghanistan veteran and Federal MP Phillip Thompson added to 2GB Radio that it seems 'heavy-handed'.

"We don't want to see people overindulging...or anything like that but I've had some friends killed in action and sitting down with your mates after and having a beer and having a chat about their life and our service is something that brought us closer together as a team," he said.

"I think that this is a knee jerk reaction and I think it should be reassessed."

Featured Image Credit: Bob Collet / Alamy Stock Photo. andrew catterall / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Australia