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An entire platoon of elite US Navy SEALs stationed in Iraq has been recalled to base in San Diego, amid allegations that they were drinking alcohol while on deployment.
US Special Operations Command released a statement confirming the recall of Navy SEAL Team Seven citing “a perceived deterioration of good order and discipline within the team during non-operational periods”.
The consumption of alcohol during combat deployments is strictly forbidden. Allegations were first levelled against some 20 Navy SEALs in early July. Major General Eric Hill indicated that other Navy Special Warfare troops would be redeployed to pick up the slack left by the withdrawal of the San Diego-based platoon.
The troops in question come from the same platoon as Chief Warfare Operator Edward Gallagher, who was recently acquitted of murder and of attempted murder charges during deployment.
However, he was convicted on charges of posing with the body of a dead captive IS fighter he was accused of killing. He was released after the judge sentenced him to time served.
Gallagher’s trial included evidence that members of his platoon were drinking while on deployment in Mosul though it remains unclear whether any of the members currently returning from Mosul served with Gallagher during his 2017 deployment in which he was alleged to have committed his alleged crimes.
The redeployment of Navy SEAL Team Seven marks the latest embarrassment for US special forces operating abroad. Earlier this week, the Navy Times reported that members of SEAL Team 10 had tested positive for cocaine.
In May, two SEALS were sentenced to one and four years in jail respectively for their role in the death –by strangulation– of Army Green Beret Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar, who was killed during a ‘hazing’ ritual while on deployment in Mali.