By Dustin Perry, U.S. Army Garrison Japan Public AffairsFebruary 28, 2019
CAMP ZAMA, Japan (March 1, 2019) -- As part of an ongoing Army-wide effort to resolve unsatisfactory conditions in Army family housing, Camp Zama's leadership held a town hall to provide information and gain feedback at Yano Fitness Center Feb. 27.
Maj. Gen. Viet X. Luong, commander of U.S. Army Japan; Col. Phillip K. Gage, commander of U.S. Army Garrison Japan; USARJ Command Sgt. Maj. Scott Beeson; and USAG-J Command Sgt. Maj. Billy Norman answered questions and addressed issues from Soldiers, civilian employees and their families regarding various housing issues.
"You all should know that the care of our troopers and families is very high on my priorities," Luong told those in attendance. "My overall intent is to strengthen our Soldiers', civilians' and families' confidence and to establish a safe and healthy Army housing environment for our Soldiers, DA civilians and their families."
Gage said he encourages all residents to use the existing reporting systems to request maintenance of their quarters, and encourages candid feedback.
"The discussion about housing is going on Army-wide," said Gage. "What we're learning is that different garrisons are learning different lessons. Some of the lessons learned even in our own region … we're bringing those over. We're going to take what we learned … apply it over here, and see if we can get some of those best practices out across the board."
Some of the topics and issues raised during the town hall included questions about mold removal, response time on work orders, condensation buildup in unoccupied housing, installing secured-access exterior doors on barracks and bachelor officers' quarters, the unauthorized dumping of garbage in reserved bins, individual personal storage units, water testing, and high-rise residents smoking in unauthorized areas.
Within 30 days, senior commanders will complete visits to family homes and Soldier barracks--with appropriate notice and consent of residents--to assess the scale and scope of housing issues.
In a recent statement, Secretary of the Army Dr. Mark Esper said, "We are deeply troubled by the recent reports highlighting the deficient conditions in some of our family housing. It is unacceptable for our families who sacrifice so much to have to endure these hardships in their own homes. Our most sacred obligation as Army leaders is to take care of our people--our Soldiers and our family members."
Esper added, "We will hold our chain of command and private contractors accountable to ensure they are meeting their obligations to provide safe, high-quality family housing."