(PresidentialHill.com)- According to a report from Military.com, up to 1,200 soldiers at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, continue to live in moldy barracks that have been ruled uninhabitable.
Twelve Vietnam-era barracks in the Smoke Bomb Hill region of the military post were found to not be up to HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) standards during a recent inspection.
Soldiers have yet to be relocated, according to a military installation spokesperson, but the Army hopes to begin within the next 30 days. The service is “now in the process of accessing room availability,” Cheryle Rivas wrote in an email to Military.com before adding that the priority is to move personnel into other barracks rooms on the station.
The news source claimed that the decision to evacuate the decades-old barracks last week was unexpected given that the mold problems, caused mainly by the air conditioning system’s 50-year age, had reportedly been known for years.
According to a statement from the service, Military.com reported on August 5 that “the relocations will be a methodical, staged strategy.” They said Army officials had dedicated significant resources to resolving the barracks concerns to ensure our Soldiers are cared for throughout the process.
The relocation of soldiers to other barracks rooms in the facility that adhere to Army health and safety regulations is the top priority, according to Rivas.
She said some barracks would be rebuilt following inspections and assessments, while the bulk in the Smoke Bomb Hill region would be dismantled.
Last week, Military.com reported that the Army intended to build new structures due to the potentially high expense of repairing or replacing the air conditioning systems. The construction of new barracks has no set completion date.
Soldiers at Fort Bragg and other locations reported experiencing health problems after moving into moldy accommodations. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, exposure can result in many ailments, from flu-like symptoms to memory loss and fatigue.
According to Rivas, the post has “yet to receive any complaints” from soldiers requesting medical attention from the current conditions in the Fort Bragg barracks.
According to her statement to Military.com, “there is a medical specialist available should soldiers have mold-related issues or inquiries.” She also stated that soldiers “are advised [to] seek medical care and alert their chain of command.”