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Operation Nighthawk provides deterrent

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- For those night owls driving onto base after 10 p.m. Nov. 21 until 2 a.m. Nov. 22, every car was stopped and service members were required to submit to drug testing as a part of Operation Nighthawk.

The event was a joint effort between 21st Space Wing leadership, Air Force Office of Special Investigations, the 21st SW Judge Advocate's Office and the Diamond Council, as a drug demand reduction program to deter service members from driving under the influence or using drugs.

Capt. Anne Wright, 21st Space Wing JA chief of adverse actions, said the goal is to help all military working on Peterson, no matter the branch or rank, to understand illegal drugs are not tolerated.

"It's a health and wellness inspection to ensure we have a fit fighting force," she said. "It's more of a deterrent factor to help people see it's a high priority."

Investigator Evan List, 21st Security Forces Squadron NCO in charge of investigations, said that for the entire four hour period, each vehicle was stopped and active duty members were required to proceed to the base auditorium. He said after stopping each vehicle, approximately 150 people had to get a urinalysis.

"Those stopped were cooperative and polite, even the shift workers who just wanted to get some sleep," Wright said. "They were just surprised by our presence at the gate."

Randomness is the key to each of the inspections. She said the purpose is to find anyone who may have taken drugs, so there is no set schedule to ensure maximum effectiveness.

"We should all know that it doesn't matter if we are on or off duty," Wright said. "We have to be at our best at all times so we can complete the mission."

Results are not in yet, but if any tests come back positive, an investigation will be started against those with narcotics in their system.

List said the operation has high visibility to remind everyone the stance 21st SW leadership and the Air Force has on such behavior.

"These events are important because they remind the base populace the wing commander's stance on drug-related offenses," he stated. "It also helps our organization take a proactive approach to detecting the use of controlled substances."

Peterson SFB Schriever SFBCheyenne Mountain SFSThule AB New Boston SFS Kaena Point SFS Maui