Skip to comments.Navy SEALs Caught Up In Drug Sweep
Posted on 06/20/2004 1:12:29 PM PDT by Wolfie
Navy SEALs Caught Up In Drug Sweep
U.S. being forced to transfer some units
More than a dozen sailors, including eight SEALs, are being investigated after testing positive for illegal drug use, the Navy confirmed yesterday.
Seven sailors assigned to the Naval Special Warfare Command, including five SEALs, failed drug tests in early May while they were on a training exercise in Thailand.
Other sailors reported seeing the commandos using drugs in Pattaya, a Thai beach resort.
That was enough for Rear Adm. Joseph Maguire, the Naval Special Warfare commander, to order a drug-testing sweep of 3,300 of the 4,600 men and women under his command.
The only people not tested were those deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries and those on leave or on temporary duty.
In the sweep, six more sailors tested positive, including three SEALs, one student and two support personnel.
Some of those who failed the drug tests are assigned to units based at Coronado's Naval Amphibious Base. Others are from units in Little Creek, Va.
The episode is forcing the early replacement of two SEAL platoons overseas by two stateside units and has embarrassed units that have been used extensively in Iraq and Afghanistan in the war on terrorism.
"We identified the problem," said Navy spokesman Cmdr. Jeff Bender yesterday. "We investigated the problem, and we'll hold those accountable for their actions."
The investigations are being conducted by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and could result in criminal or administrative action. No charges have been filed.
The Navy has a zero-tolerance drug policy, and sailors caught using drugs usually are discharged. "This is something that's not taken lightly. One is too many," Bender said.
The sweeps come as the Navy is trying to increase its number of SEALs. The war on terrorism has increased the need for special operations forces such as the SEALs, Green Berets and Army Rangers.
Training SEALs is time-consuming and costly. Each two-year training process includes the Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL class and advanced weapons and tactics training. It costs several hundred thousand dollars to train each commando.
The SEALs and special warfare crewmen were in Thailand for Cobra Gold, an annual multinational training exercise.
After other sailors reported the possible drug use, 10 sailors were asked to take drug urinalysis tests. Nine volunteered and the 10th was ordered to take the urine test, Bender said.
Seven sailors, five SEALs and two combatant crewmen tested positive. They were flown back to their units in San Diego and Little Creek. Navy law enforcement agents searched barracks and buildings used by the sailors in Guam and Singapore but found no drugs. Their stateside units were not revealed.
The two SEAL platoons, each with 16 commandos, will be replaced this month with two similar units from the United States, Bender said.
No operations or exercises were affected by the suspected drug use or testing, he added.
"This did not affect our readiness," he said, pointing out that only one-fifth of 1 percent of the drug tests were positive. "We have not missed a beat."
Drug use by such forces is worrisome, said defense analyst Ivan Eland, because the small units, often working in hostile territory, require teamwork.
"They are endangering their own lives but also the colleagues in their units," said Eland, senior fellow of The Independent Institute in Oakland.
Last year, 21 special warfare sailors were discharged after failing drug tests. In 2002, positive tests forced out 32 sailors assigned to Naval Special Warfare.
Adm. Vern Clark, chief of naval operations, has called for a 25 percent reduction in drug use this year.
One is too many, but the left is on it's witch hunt.
What is your interest in this story Wolfie?
Typical of the anti-american media whores' writing styles, the truth of the story is buried DEEP within. THis way they can always claim "We didn't lie." ala clintoon.
"one-fifth of 1 percent of the drug tests were positive"
What is the percentage of drug addicts in the media? 90%+ ??
We're at war. I can look the other way as long as we and the country survive. Push has come to shove with the Islamofascists.
the email address for the author is:
it is posted on the article.
Not on my ship.
NOT IN MY NAVY.
My friends fiance, a Navy Seal Instructor in his early 40's (this guy is unbelievable) was called to duty three weeks ago. Somewhere in Africa, he can't even tell her where he is. God bless these people and shame on those who bring shame to all these good men.
What'll you bet the drugs were not "recreational" or narcotic drugs, but performance enhancing drugs like steroids or amphetamines? All to make a better warrior.
Thank you! I sent him this:
If only "one-fifth of 1 percent of progressive newspaper editors were tested positive for drugs, would you write an article entitled Progressive Newspaper Editors Caught up in Drug Sweep?
You know that many of your readers see through this and think youre a phony. Worse yet, you know that were right [snicker]
If they can do that to someone of his stature, then each of these operators should fry, plain and simple. I don't care if we are "at war."
Sounds like they were seen partaking in some of the local "scenery" and got turned in. It still doesn't say what the drugs were but I wonder if any other commandos were observed having a drink somewhere.
why do you think they called it "area J"?
still, not many can say they actually jumped on acid...and those who can won't tell.
This is the attitude that destroys a fighting force. Discipline trumps valor every single time. You are condoning disobedience to command and I do not accept your rationalization.
Thankyou for your service to our country.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.