First 200 Fort Bragg soldiers move from moldy, unsafe barracks

ByMonique John via WTVD logo
Thursday, September 1, 2022
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Fort Bragg officials say more than 200 soldiers have been moved out of unsafe barracks on post.

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Fort Bragg officials say more than 200 soldiers have been moved out of unsafe barracks on post. Approximately 900 more still have to be relocated from the Smoke Bomb Hill area barracks due to their poor conditions stemming from HVAC issues.

The milestone marks a turning point in Fort Bragg's response to complaints of dangerous housing on post that have long been a source of anger and frustration from the military community.

Fort Bragg also says it has issued almost 300 vouchers allowing service members to look for private housing on or offsite. Another 166 more certificates permitting soldiers to search for private housing are in their final stages for approval.

"The consistent reporting spanning several years on the conditions at Smoke Bomb Hill have allowed us to receive additional resources to ensure the safety and well-being of our Soldiers are put first in this process - this is a coordinated installation-wide response," Command Sergeant Major T.H. Holland said in a statement.

In an email, Sergeant Major Alex Licea told ABC11, Fort Bragg will provide partial dislocation payments of $840 for soldiers that get those vouchers for private housing. The financial aid is meant to help offset the major expense of moving.

ABC11 previously reported mold and other dangerous, unhealthy conditions at Fort Bragg housing units in recent years. One anonymous veteran who recently worked at the barracks at Fort Bragg, a retired senior officer, says that untenable housing conditions are a broad issue on post. He argues they affect more than just the barracks at Smoke Bomb Hill.

"These soldiers, they're dealing with black mold issues. They're dealing with constant plumbing issues. Electrical issues. You know, 75% of the time, their air conditioning or their heating don't work and nobody's doing anything about it," he said.

Officials say Fort Bragg expects to relocate more soldiers from the Smoke Bomb Hill area barracks this weekend.