FORT HOOD — New restrictions for on-post alcohol sales may reduce drinking-related incidents at Fort Hood.
Packaged liquor was removed Aug. 19 from Army & Air Force Exchange stores located near soldier barracks, Fort Hood officials said.
“After speaking with the command, the change in liquor sales was a prudent action requested by higher headquarters in the interest of soldier safety and was not tied to local statistics,” said Chris Haug, Fort Hood spokesperson. “Law enforcement said at this time there are not a high number of incidents on post related to alcohol.”
Fort Hood isn’t alone in the new restrictions. Fort Bliss, Fort Bragg, N.C., and Army Garrison-Hawaii also introduced restrictions, affecting one-third of the entire Army population, the Army Times reported.
The Navy limited liquor sales to main exchanges and within fewer hours earlier this year.
Several factors likely are involved within the same time frame, from February to the present, said Paul Boyce, spokesperson for U.S. Army Forces Command, Fort Hood’s higher headquarters.
The command doesn’t actually set policies involving AAFES and garrison procedures, he added.
“In recent months, both the AAFES Exchanges and the posts have been looking at this, sometimes consolidating alcohol sales at some of the larger on-post facilities on a case-by-case basis. From talking with many involved, it’s a local call for what works best for the garrisons and the AAFES teams,” he said.
AAFES, which sells alcohol on Army and Air Force installations at its post exchanges and class six and express stores, said Army regulation allows commanders to adjust locations and hours where alcohol is offered.
“The Exchange regularly works with installation commanders to implement decisions based on needs, mission readiness and community requirements (including recommended hours of operation),” said Judd Anstey, spokesman for AAFES.
Beer and wine were not impacted by the regulations, and spirits are still sold at other locations across post.