HILL AIR FORCE BASE -- Like their active-duty counterparts have been for years, civilians at Hill Air Force Base may now be tested for drugs.
In an attempt to eliminate the use of illicit drugs among civilian employees, the Air Force has implemented a civilian drug-reduction program for all nonbargaining-unit employees.
According to an Air Force policy document from the Pentagon, illicit drugs include any substance introduced into the body in any manner to alter mood or function.
Those substances include not only all controlled substances and controlled substance analogues like spice, but also inhalants, propellants, solvents, household chemicals and other substances used for huffing.
Misused or abused prescription drugs are prohibited as well.
Angela Johnson, who works in Hill's personnel office, said the positions that will be tested include those that are critical to the Air Force mission or to the protection of public safety.
Johnson said management at Hill is actively engaged in stopping illicit drug use by its work force and that the new policy is just another step in that direction.
As the program moves forward, on-base civilians who hold positions that will be tested have been receiving notification of the testing.
After receiving the initial notice, employees will be tested randomly, using computer software that performs an algorithmic equation to select personnel.
That means individuals won't be able to predict when they will be tested or how many times they will be tested during the year.
In addition to the random testing, employees may also be tested if there is a reasonable belief that the employee has used illicit drugs -- on or off duty. The employee is subject to testing based on management direction.
Dan Robinett, chief, Civilian Personnel Division, said the new policy came out during summer 2010, but has only recently gone into effect.
"Due to planning, implementation requirements and notification of employees, we didn't actually implement the new policy until (February)," he said.
Robinett said the new drug policy updates the previous policy, which was more than 20 years old, and brings the Air Force into compliance with current Health and Human Services guidelines for all government employees.