Tripler among priority repairs
WASHINGTON » The U.S. Army said yesterday it will immediately repair barracks at eight facilities, including Tripler Army Medical Center, in the wake of inspections at bases worldwide.
The Army says funding for repair of barracks at eight facilities will include:
» Fort Polk, La., $166 million.
» Fort Gordon, Ga., $49.7 million.
» West Point, N.Y., $9.3 million.
» Fort Lewis, Wash., $7.4 million.
» Fort Stewart, Ga., $6.2 million.
» Fort Bragg, N.C., $2.9 million (in addition to the $2.6 million already spent on the barracks there, triggered by the video).
» Tripler Army Medical Center, Moanalua, $1.7 million.
» Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., $1.2 million.
The inspections were done the last week of April and covered nearly 150,000 barracks rooms. They found that 45 repairs needed priority attention, including new heating and cooling equipment, repainting, mold removal and other work.
Army Secretary Pete Geren has said that $248 million in emergency funds has been appropriated to fix problems found during the inspections.
The Army identified eight installations yesterday that will get priority attention: Fort Polk, La.; Fort Gordon, Ga.; Fort Bragg, N.C.; Fort Stewart, Ga.; Fort Lewis, Wash.; the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in New York; Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland; and Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii.
So far, the Army has had to relocate 13 soldiers to make the needed repairs.
Officials are scrambling to make the repairs after a soldier's father posted a video on YouTube last month showing the dilapidated barracks for paratroopers at Fort Bragg, N.C.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates called the conditions appalling and ordered base commanders to ensure their troops have proper quarters.
Thousands of soldiers are assigned to barracks built for the GIs who fought World War II and the Korean War, and the buildings are showing their age.