Senator Tillis demands change in moldy Fort Bragg barracks

The American army

There’s mold in the Fort Bragg barracks.

US Senator Thom Tillis wrote a letter to Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth on Tuesday complaining about the mold and demanding an immediate fix.

“Allowing soldiers to live in moldy and dangerous housing is a danger to the country,” Tillis wrote.

Tillis provided his letter in a press release Thursday and said a soldier from Fort Bragg contacted his office with photographic evidence. He added that the soldier reported that Bragg’s public works department “said they would not take care” of the situation.

“Fort Bragg’s public works department resolves a high volume of work orders every day, including mold remediation,” wrote Col. Scott Pence, commander of the Fort Bragg garrison, in a statement to The News & Observe. “If the soldiers feel that their work orders are not being processed in a timely manner, their chain of command can contact the garrison headquarters for a resolution. “

Fort Bragg, located near Fayetteville, is home to about 53,700 troops, according to the military.

Basic surveys

In 2019, the U.S. military released a survey of resident satisfaction with 43 privatized family and unaccompanied housing facilities. The investigation revealed that Fort Bragg had the lowest satisfaction with family accommodation in all facilities and was the only base classified as “very poor”.

Complaints in the investigation involved landscaping, visitor parking, road conditions, pest control and comparisons to previous communities in which a soldier had lived.

In a 2021 survey, Fort Bragg’s ranking was 41 and was listed as “below average.”

It was not clear whether this part of the investigation included unaccompanied accommodation for soldiers serving a period of duty without dependents, which are the barracks mentioned in Tillis’ letter. In 2019 and 2021, Fort Bragg ranked third of the five surveyed bases that offer this type of accommodation. The 2019 survey notes that the response rate from soldiers at Fort Bragg was less than 20%.

This is not the first time that Tillis has tackled basic mold. In 2019, he traveled to Fort Bragg to listen to soldiers’ concerns about housing. He encouraged families to approach his office to file complaints.

The N&O then reported that a soldier’s wife said concerns she had previously expressed about mold in her barracks were addressed immediately when officials learned that Tillis was planning to visit.

In September, news of barracks mold resurfaced as soldiers returned home from Afghanistan.

ABC11, the N&O’s information gathering partner, then reported that a soldier found their home and belongings covered in mold and showed photographs of air ducts, clothing and bedding covered in spores.

Tillis passed the National Defense Authorization Act last week, which provided Fort Bragg with $ 27.2 million for an emergency water supply system and a 10-megawatt micro-grid using generators. existing and new. Money is also provided in the bill to improve housing, but is not specific to Fort Bragg.

Renovation work

“The safety and well-being of our military is our top priority,” Pence said. “The military invested $ 44.1 million in 24 of our barracks in 2022 to improve the quality of life and ensure the barracks are at a level our soldiers deserve.”

Pence added that there are 18 barracks at Fort Bragg currently under renovation and six more are slated for refurbishment. He said the renovations will correct the original design issues that make moldy conditions more likely.

“On a daily basis, we need to remember that soldiers and leaders are our eyes and ears when it comes to barracks maintenance issues,” Pence said.

Tillis said in his letter that the military must continue to prioritize upgrading housing and barracks to keep soldiers safe and that they are ready for the military.

“As the military continues to modernize and improve its readiness to prepare for strategic competition with close competitors, Fort Bragg will remain uniquely important as a ‘tip of the spear’ for the Department of Defense. “Tillis wrote. “Therefore, I urge the Department of the Army to continue the ongoing efforts to recapitalize the barracks throughout the Army enterprise and immediately remedy the conditions of the barracks.”

This story was originally published 23 December 2021 3:09 pm.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article included the incorrect number of troops at Fort Bragg.

Corrected on December 26, 2021

Comments are closed.