Hyten Joint Chiefs Confirmation Hearing Addresses Recent Problems in Military Family Housing

Hyten Joint Chiefs Confirmation Hearing Addresses Recent Problems in Military Family Housing

The ongoing high profile cases of problems in military housing was addressed last week during the Senate Armed Services Committee confirmation hearing for Air Force Gen. John Hyten, nominee for the  vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Military.com reported.

Hyten, currently commander of the U.S. Strategic Command and under consideration for DOD’s second-ranking military post, was questioned by Sen. Thom Tills (R-N.C.) about whether he realized the extent of problems in military family housing at many installations across the country.

“I’m fully aware of those problems. I’ve seen those problems,” Hyten told Tills during his testimony.

“We actually have very good housing at Offutt Air Force Base where I live now,” Hyten said. “That is not the case in a large number of bases across the country,” Hyten added.

During his committee hearing Hyten also disclosed he has not always felt the initial transition to privatized military housing in the 90s was a certain answer for managing family housing.

“When we started down this privatized housing path I really did not like the model we were putting in place,” Hyten acknowledged in his testimony. “We were putting in a low-cost model, looking for low bidders to provide the housing that will take care of our families,” he testified.

Despite his initial reservations, Hyten’s SASC testimony also put him in a group of the latest top Pentagon officials to acknowledge privatized military housing problems and to promise changes.

Last month Defense Secretary Mark Esper said at his Senate confirmation hearing and at his first Pentagon press briefing that improving military housing and the lives of military families was one of his “personal priorities.”

In addition, all of the military services have enacted improvements following a Reuters series last year that reported on poor conditions and health risks in privatized housing, as On Base reported.

DOD photo by Lisa Ferdinando

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