I-TEAM UPDATE: Date set for Army to inspect Fort Gordon housing

We have confirmed the Army will start inspecting housing units at Fort Gordon on April 11.
Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 5:34 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - We continue to follow breaking news out of Washington that appears to be another step forward in making sure our military families are safe.

For years, our I-TEAM has been uncovering problems with housing at Fort Gordon, and soon we’ll have an idea of just how big those problems are. The Army started inspecting housing units at Fort Gordon on April 11.

Senator Jon Ossoff will be at Fort Gordon to oversee these inspections on April 12 and hold a news conference on this process.

It’s part of a promise the Army made to inspect every unit on every installation, starting with ones in our area first.

We’ve also learned another plan is in the works.

This one has to do with health problems. For more than a decade, we’ve documented claims of families saying their homes on post made them sick. The Department of Defense hasn’t been tracking that, even after being told to not once, but twice.

It’s an enemy our men and women in uniform never expected to face: things like mold invading their homes and waging war on their families.

While the I-TEAM has been following this, the Army hasn’t been.

According to an audit, the Inspector General found the Army and the Air Force failed to record this data, despite instructions to in 2014 and 2019.

“That’s exactly why I brought together a group of Republican and Democratic senators to press the Department of Defense on this point,” said Ossoff.

Senator Ossoff chairs the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

Last April, Fort Gordon became the poster child for sick families in military housing when Senator Ossoff held a hearing after releasing the results of a months-long Senate PSI investigation.

But Senator Ossoff says exposing bad housing isn’t enough.

“We need to understand what damage to health has already been done, but we also need to understand what are the future risks. What are the risks of chronic illness or future illness?” he said.

That’s why he and two Republicans, Senators Tim Scott and Marco Rubio, are launching an inquiry.

They sent a letter to the Secretary of Defense, telling him the Pentagon “does not track the relationship between adverse conditions in privatized housing and the health of U.S. service members and their families.”

FULL LETTER:

“We need to understand the full range of potential negative health effects and immediately get that information to affected families and ensure they’re provided the care that they need,” said Senator Ossoff.

He wants to make sure a soldier’s service doesn’t come at the cost of sacrificing their family’s health.

We’ll keep you posted on how the Pentagon responds.