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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Two RAF pilots flown home in disgrace after being 'found drunk hours before Libya raid' - 25th May 2011

Two RAF pilots have been sent home in disgrace amid claims they were found drunk just hours before they were due to fly on bombing mission Libya.

The officers from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire have been disciplined over their ‘inappropriate behaviour’ while waiting for action at an airbase in Italy.

It is believed the pair, who fly £75million Typhoon Eurofighters, were found almost paralytic at 6am on the main square in the historic town of Gioia del Colle, near their base.

One was 'spread-eagled' on the floor while the other was barely able to stand, according to The Sun.

They have been reprimanded for flouting the RAF’s strict rules which state that pilots can drink no more than two pints of beer within 12 hours of flying.

The Ministry of Defence said their removal from the area of operations would have no effect on the military action.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said : ‘Two RAF personnel have been returned from detachment in Gioia del Colle following inappropriate behaviour.

‘This has not affected the RAF's ability to sustain its current commitments.

‘Individuals who are found to have fallen below the high standards of conduct demanded by the RAF can face appropriate internal action.’

It is understood other RAF staff at the Italian airbase faced a short-term alcohol ban after the incident in March. Britain’s Typhoon and Tornado fighter jets have been based at Gioia del Colle since British jets began to police the no-fly zone over Libya on March 19.

Twelve of the UK's Tornado jets and six Typhoon fighters, used to carry out bombing missions and patrol the no-fly zone, are based there.

The news came as British and French forces continued to pound Tripoli and military hardware being used by Muammar Gaddafi in his desperate bid to hold on to power. Read More