Support: July 12, 2002


The Clinton-era looting of base maintenance funds to pay for peacekeeping missions and cutbacks is causing problems for basic training facilities. Because the troops are not permanently based in these buildings but are there only for a few weeks of training, these barracks are in the worst shape. Plumbing problems are so bad that training schedules had to be changed to allow more time for showers as only half of the showers (and other bathroom fixtures) actually work. Barracks are crowded and hot in the summer, when the number of recruits surges above the average. The Navy will spend almost $600 million over the next decade to replace all of the 40-year-old barracks at the Great Lakes training facility. The Army complains that it needs $1.7 billion to repair, refurbish, and replace recruit barracks, but the funding is not scheduled to start until 2009.--Stephen V Cole




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