Commander’s corner

  • Published
  • By Col. Philip McDaniel
  • 39th Air Base Wing
Alcohol Related Incidents; a subject that is weighing heavily on leaders across our base and wing. I would hope it is weighing on every member of this wing as it significantly impacts us all!

Over the course of the last few weeks there has been an upward trend on general ARI incidents. This last weekend it became even more alarming as there were two DUIs on Incirlik Air Base just one day apart.

Our first incident involved a senior NCO with an incredibly high blood-alcohol level. Driving on A Street, this individual hit the high curbs hard enough to break the axle of his car! Luckily there were not any pedestrians around or there could have been a real tragedy.

The second DUI involved an Airman departing the Consolidated Club. This individual had been partying in the Alley then moved their group to the club. Upon leaving the club, this individual decided to drive even though he had been drinking during the evening. It only gets worse from there, four of his fellow Airmen, wingmen who knew he had been drinking, decided they would ride with him in the car!

Our wing is now in DIGITCON Delta, reflecting the sense of urgency I believe we need to place on this incredibly irresponsible and dangerous behavior. While some of these measures may seem harsh, I can assure you we did not go this path without significant thought and discussion.

Our biggest concern on this issue is not with a "count" of numbers of issues, although that is an indicator of how bad things are. Our concern needs to be on the safety and security of our community. ARIs are a hazard not only to those who choose to go down that path, but to each and every one of us. ARIs risk lives in our community and put the execution of the mission at risk.

0-1-3 ... do the digits. Zero ARIs, one drink an hour and three drinks maximum per evening. Responsible drinking is what we all need to practice. If we're not capable of that, we need to stay away from alcohol. NEVER DRINK AND DRIVE. A true wingman will not allow their comrade to go down this path to ruin. Don't be afraid to be blunt with your wingman, you may hurt their feelings but you may just save their life (and yours!).

At the end of the day, ARIs affect each and every one of us and even if you don't drink yourself, somebody else's poor choice could cost you your life. Let's not allow this to happen in our community. People will be held accountable for their poor choices, but without strong wingmen we cannot fix this issue. Together we can get a handle on this problem and make our community a safe place to live, work and play.