Monday, November 29, 1999

Britain tells women soldiers to carry condom

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With pregnancies at the bases in Afghanistan are on the rise, Britain has launched a campaign warning its female soldiers to carry condoms.Adverts in the Army's official magazine Soldier warned "on deployment, there'll be 50 blokes to each woman' and urge female squaddies, medics and administrative staff to use a condom or "face something you really don't want to hear".Officially, a "no-touching" rule bans military personnel from having sex in a war zone.But, according to senior officers, provided sexual relationships are between soldiers of a similar rank and do not impact on operations commanders often turn a blind eye.However, if, for example, a female nurse is caught having sex with a senior officer, both would face serious disciplinary action and could be thrown out of the Army.Once female soldiers become pregnant, they are flown home immediately, because rules bar expectant mothers from frontline service.According to Mail today, between January 2003 and February 2009, at least 102 British servicewomen posted to Iraq had been sent home after it was found they were to become mothers.Over the same period the number of female soldiers who had discovered they were pregnant while in theatre in Afghanistan was 31.Condoms are readily available to male and female soldiers at bases such as Camp Bastion, which houses 8,500 British troops - including 700 women.A Minister of Defence spokesperson said, "The MoD does not encourage sexual relationships in theatre. All personnel are expected to behave in accordance with the Armed Forces values and standards at all times."

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