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Florida’s Senators, Jon Ossoff Ask Lloyd Austin About Pentagon’s Lack of Oversight of Military Housing

This week, Florida’s two U.S. senators–Republicans Marco Rubio and Rick Scott--paired up with U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff, D-Ga., to send a letter to U.S. Department of Defense Sec. Lloyd Austin requesting answers on the mistreatment of military families.

“The U.S. Department of Defense’s Office of the Inspector General has found the Pentagon does not adequately track the relationship between adverse conditions in privatized housing and the health of U.S. service members and their families,” Rubio’s office noted.

The letter is below.

Dear Secretary Austin:

We write with regard to a recent report from the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DoD) Office of the Inspector General (OIG), which found that the Pentagon does not adequately track the relationship between adverse conditions in privatized housing and the health of U.S. service members and their families.

The health and safety of our military families must be a top priority. However, the OIG report stated, “because DoD officials did not have readily available access to sufficient information to connect health and safety incidents to PMH [privatized military housing], they were unable to effectively monitor and ensure the health and safety of its service members and their families.” Due to this lack of information, the military services were unable to consistently track housing conditions that may have led to asthma, lead poisoning, cancers, and other adverse conditions among service members and their families.

Accordingly, we request a prompt response to the following questions:

1. How are you planning to track the full implementation of the environmental health and safety module to the eMH system?

2. How will you work with privatized military housing companies to provide the DoD with past residents’ information?

3. Does the DoD have adequate resources and authorities to carry out the implementation to ensure that the eMH is fully programmed with the occupancy data?

4. Upon full implementation of the eMH, how does the Defense Health Agency plan to use the data to adequately test for adverse conditions in military housing?

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