WASHINGTON, DC: Today, Congresswoman Jen Kiggans (VA-02) announced that she, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (CA-19), and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) are demanding answers from the Department of Defense (DoD) following a shocking Government Accountability Office (GAO) report which details poor living conditions on ten unspecified military bases across the United States. Virginia’s Second District is home to five military bases, as well as many servicemembers stationed at Naval Station Norfolk, the world’s largest naval base.
The lawmakers’ letter calls on Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III to swiftly adopt the recommendations of the GAO report and to submit updated DOD habitability guidelines before the FY25 budget request to ensure improved living standards. The GAO report found that junior servicemembers are living in rooms overrun with mold, with doors that do not lock, without air conditioning or heat, without access to clean drinking water, and a lack of functioning plumbing.
“We write to express our profound concern and disappointment regarding the conditions that thousands of junior enlisted Service members are experiencing in barracks across the country,” the lawmakerswrote. “This is a failure of leadership that cannot be ignored.”
Following the release of their report, GAO and DoD officials testified before the House Armed Services Committee’s Recruitment, Retention, and Quality of Life Task Force, on which Congresswoman Kiggans serves. You can watch her question Elizabeth Field, the GAO Director of Defense Capabilities and Management, by clicking on the image below.
After the hearing, Congresswoman Kiggans joined local news station WTKR News 3 to discuss the report’s findings. That interview is available here.
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