Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
'They Don't Have To Live With Us': Lawmakers Demand Answers Over Cockroach-Infested Marine Housing
California's senators have sent a letter to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and the head of a public-private partnership providing on-base housing, calling on them to improve housing conditions for Marines after an explosive new report detailed squalid conditions and deterioration.
The letter, sent by Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala D. Harris, both Democrats, cited a Nov. 1 investigation by Reuters that reported serious deficiencies and health hazards in base housing at Camp Pendleton, California.
Interviews with 100 families turned up reports of mouse infestations, severe mold outbreaks, cockroaches, roof leaks and more. Families said Lincoln Military Housing, the contractor that manages most on-base housing, took some mitigating actions, but did not do enough to address concerns and keep houses livable.
"We are deeply concerned and disappointed about recent reports of unsuitable housing conditions at Camp Pendleton. Members of our military and their families sacrifice greatly to keep our nation safe, and the very least we can do in return is ensure their housing is safe and sanitary," the senators wrote to Mattis and Tim Byrne, CEO of Lincoln, in a Nov. 5 letter. "We urge Lincoln Military Housing to work with the Department of Defense (DOD) to immediately resolve the issues identified in these reports."
Feinstein and Harris called for a response by Nov. 15 regarding the military and Lincoln's strategy to address existing problems and implement corrective actions at Pendleton and other military bases with similar problems.
They asked whether the Defense Department would provide a plan to offer medical treatment to those whose health had been affected by bad housing conditions and called for a report on military housing partner companies "that have been similarly unable to meet the minimum health and safety standards" required for military families.
"As long as these disturbing living conditions are allowed to continue, many Camp Pendleton Marines will be unable to deploy with the peace of mind that their families are safe at home," they wrote. "We are extremely troubled that a culture has developed that appears to prize profit at the expense of the health and safety of our military families. In spite of current policy limitations, cooperation between the military and privatized housing companies should provide the best protection of our military families possible."
The president of Lincoln, Jarl Bliss, did not dispute Reuters' report about the condition of certain homes, but told the outlet that they represented exceptions to the rule.
"We can't run 36,000 homes and do all the services that we provide across these branches of government and have a 100 percent success rate," he told Reuters. " ... The families have a choice. [...] They don't have to live with us."
There are 7,900 total housing units on base at Pendleton, according to the report.
This article originally appeared on Military.com
Read more from Military.com:
- Group Fights to Give War on Terror Vets Their Own Memorial in DC
- Space Force in Jeopardy After Democrats Gain Control of House
- Marines Want Robot Vehicles to Carry Infantry Packs into Battle
The Taliban may not have breached the walls of Bagram, but they damaged the hell out of its main passenger terminal
Blasts from Taliban car bombs outside of Bagram Airfield on Wednesday caused extensive damage to the base's passenger terminal, new pictures released by the 45th Expeditionary Wing show.
The pictures, which are part of a photo essay called "Bagram stands fast," were posted on the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service's website on Thursday.
'The Hurt Locker' will be coming out in 'Digital 4K Ultra HD' so you can watch every inaccuracy in excruciating detail
Average pay, housing and subsistence allowances will increase for members of the military in 2020, the Pentagon announced Thursday.
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
A retired Navy SEAL running for Congress wore a U.S. Navy dress white uniform at a recent campaign event, Business Insider has learned.
Republican candidate Floyd McLendon of Texas spoke to an audience at his campaign kick-off event in November, wearing the Navy uniform adorned with numerous medals — including what appeared to be the Navy SEAL Trident, the insignia reserved for members of the elite community like McLendon.
The inaugural event in Dallas was held in the 30th congressional district, a different district than the one McLendon is running in. Political strategists in Texas described the venue's location as highly unusual for a House candidate.
A former Fort Bliss solider stood bruised and badly injured in court Thursday as he pleaded guilty to cutting the throat of another soldier during a 2017 drug robbery.
Zachary Johnston, who appeared in court in an orange jail jumpsuit and shackles around his ankles, pleaded guilty Thursday to a lesser count of murder as part of a plea agreement with state prosecutors.
He also appeared in court with two black eyes, bruises and cuts all over his face after he was involved in a jailhouse fight.
Johnston was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole in connection with the brutal slaying of Tyler Kaden Croke, 23, on May 7, 2017, during a drug robbery at the Cantera Apartments in East El Paso. Croke, 23, was in the U.S. Army and served a tour of duty in Afghanistan.