Federal contractors at a covert operations center in Afghanistan violated military orders by abusing alcohol and drugs, risking the safety of personnel in the country, according to an investigative report from ABC News.
A video released by ABC News showed employees from Jorge Scientific, a Virginia based company with nearly $1 billion in contracts with the government, “staggeringly drunk” from parties that featured heavy alcohol consumption and narcotics use. Whistleblowers told ABC News that the company’s personnel used to throw live ammunition rounds and fire extinguishers into fires and ignite them on the patio of the operations center, whose location was meant to be concealed because of the confidential nature of the mission training Afghan police in counter-insurgency efforts.
ABC News said that the contractor’s behavior violated the military’s General Order No. 1 in Afghanistan, which specifies that contractors are not allowed consumption of drugs or alcohol, among other rules. A spokesman for the Army, the branch responsible for overseeing the contractor, told ABC News that the incident had sparked a criminal investigation.
The videos were released to ABC News by former employees of Jorge Scientific, who have also filed a lawsuit against the company, detailing the company’s numerous alleged violations of U.S. and Afghan law.
"It was like a frat house for adults," John Melson, one of the whistleblowers, told ABC News. "Some of them to the point where they were passing out, there's firearms laying around, some of them still carrying the firearms on them."
The company told ABC News that it had taken “decisive action to correct the unacceptable behavior of a limited number of employees,” and that those employees were no longer part of the Jorge Scientific.
A statement released by the International Security Assistance Force and U.S. Forces Afghanistan said that they were taking all allegations seriously, but could not comment in further detail at the time.
“We are confident that our personnel conduct themselves in ways that makes our nation proud and we should not allow the actions of a few, if determined to be true, to detract from that fact," the statement said.