Up to 1,200 soldiers at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, remain in moldy barracks deemed unlivable while officials assess locations and options, Military.com reported.
A recent inspection found that a dozen Vietnam-era barracks in the Smoke Bomb Hill area of the military installation did not meet heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) standards.
A spokeswoman for the military installation said no soldiers have been moved yet, but she emphasized that the Army hopes to start within the next 30 days, Military.com reported Thursday.
"The priority is to relocate soldiers into other barracks rooms on the installation," Cheryle Rivas said in an email to Military.com, before adding that the service is "currently in the process of accessing room availability."
The outlet said that the decision to evacuate the decades-old barracks came as a surprise last week, given that the mold issues, largely the result of half-century-old air conditioning, apparently had been known for years.
"The relocations will be a deliberate, phased approach," a statement from the service said, Military.com reported Aug. 5. "Army leaders have committed substantial resources to address the barracks issues to ensure our Soldiers are taken care of throughout the process."
Rivas reiterated that "the priority is to relocate soldiers into other barracks rooms on the installation that meet Army health and safety standards."
She added that "following inspections and assessments, some barracks will be renovated while the majority in the Smoke Bomb Hill area will be demolished."
Military.com reported last week that the Army planned to construct new buildings because the cost of repairing or replacing the air conditioning systems could be exorbitant. There is no timeline for new barracks to be constructed.
Soldiers at Fort Bragg and elsewhere previously reported developing health issues after moving into moldy living quarters. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says exposure can cause a long list of conditions that range from flu-like symptoms to memory loss and lethargy.
Rivas said the base has "yet to receive any complaints" from soldiers seeking medical care stemming from the current Fort Bragg barracks conditions.
"There is a medical expert available should soldiers have mold-related concerns or questions," she told Military.com, adding that troops "are encouraged [to] seek medical help and notify their chain of command."
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.