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Air Force set to investigate over on-base drinking, pornography

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The R.O.C. Air Force Command yesterday said it has been conducting a probe at a Hsinchu Air Base over the accusations raised by a local magazine that some pilots from the base were found drinking and watching pornography in their dormitories.

An ongoing investigation has been launched to determine whether these pilots, listed under the 499th Tactical Fighter Wing in Hsinchu, Northern Taiwan, violated regulations as reported by the weekly magazine, the Air Force said.

Initially investigations found a bottle of beer at the dormitory of one of the pilots in question.

 The military investigators also found several bottles of kaoliang or sorghum wine at the dorms, but the bottles were filled with honey instead of alcohol, the Air Force said.

The Air Force will levy punishment on those pilots who violated regulations in drinking alcohol at the air base once the investigations are officially concluded, it added.

The Air Force Command's comments came after the Chinese-language Next Magazine report yesterday, which stated that an unidentified whistleblower had released several photographs allegedly taken at the pilots' dorms in the Hsinchu Air Force base.

The photos show several boxes of beer and kaoliang inside the messy pilots' dormitories in the air base.

A photo also shows adult DVDs sitting inside a pilot's drawer.

The whistleblower said the photographs were taken at dorms for 41st and 42nd squadrons of the 499th Tactical Fighter Wing, a Mirage 2000-5 fighter wing.

According to the official site of the unit, the wing, founded in Jan. 1950, is one of the most highly decorated units in the R.O.C. Air Force.

Whistleblower's Accusations

The whistleblower told the weekly that many high-ranking officers from the wing have regularly engaged in activities that are “unbecoming of a military officer,” such as drinking alcohol and bringing their girlfriends for sleepovers at the base.

In response to the accusations, the Air Force Command said yesterday that it had immediately launched a thorough check at all dorms of pilots' in the Hsinchu base after the magazine sent it eight photos published in the story.

Initial probes found no serious violations as claimed in the weekly report, it noted. However, it did find that some pilots would bring alcohol back to the dorms, which violates the code of conduct for airmen.

It found no evidence to support the claim that pilots have kept pornography in their dorms, the Air Force said.

The Air Force stated that it will also try to find the identity of the whistleblower and possibly levy punishment because he or she has allegedly intruded into the pilots' dorms and taken photographs inside a military base.

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