An Australian Army CH-47 Chinook helicopter from the 5th Aviation Regiment coming to land.
An Australian Army CH-47 Chinook helicopter from the 5th Aviation Regiment coming to land.

Soldiers found with drugs cocktail in system

ILLICIT  drugs taken by nine Australian Defence Force personnel based in Townsville have been revealed.

The Department of Defence confirmed the substances detected in the positive test results included opiates, cocaine, amphetamines and MDMA.

Six Army personnel from the 5th Aviation Regiment, a helicopter unit based at RAAF Base Townsville, which operates CH-47 Chinook helicopters, are facing administrative action following a tip-off from Queensland police in May.

Three other personnel from other unidentified Townsville-based units have also returned positive drug tests.

A Department of Defence spokesperson released the following statement:

"Defence can confirm that the members implicated in substance abuse are proceeding through the administrative process, which may result in separation from the Australian Defence Force.

"Between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2018, there were five positive prohibited substance results recorded for Defence personnel based in Townsville.

"Due to privacy reasons, Defence cannot provide further details in regards to members who have returned positive drug tests.

"Defence does not tolerate unlawful or criminal activity; or individuals who engage in, promote or espouse behaviours that are inconsistent with Defence values. This includes the possession, use or supply of prohibited substances."

The Townsville Bulletin understands a ground crew member in the 5 Avn Regt has already been discharged for their substance use.

A military source, who wished to remain anonymous, previously told the Bulletin because of the value of aircrew, disciplinary action may not be proportionate.

The source said pilots may not be discharged over positive drug test results.