Wood soldiers? WWII Barracks ID

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sigo

Lieutenant Colonel
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Leavenworth, KS / Saudi Arabia
I hated staying in WWII barracks in my younger days, but I now feel fortunate I had the chance since they're disappearing. The barracks I stayed in at Ft Knox are gone. The barracks I stayed in at Ft Lewis are fenced off and condemned to be torn down last I heard.. I think all the WWII building are now gone from Ft Gordon, there were a bunch left when I was there for the first time in the '90s but as of 2016 they're all gone but a few old warehouses. The old field houses/gyms at Gordon looked like an engineering marvel to me. Large unsupported roofs with very intricate wood construction holding things up. They're gone now. I stayed in very original WWII buildings at Ft Custer from time to time 1996 to 2001, not sure how they're doing now. As of 2011 Ft Wainwright had a lot of WWII building still in use, but most were renovated- some in the 1970's so they were still vintage. Around 2008 I recall seeing some WWII renovated buildings at Ft Richardson too.

I've been at a lot of posts around the country in the last few years and I always make it point to drive around old parts. Glad to see a lot of WWII buildings still at FITG, although they're mostly renovated. I heard some good stuff was discovered when the majority were torn down around the height of OIF. Ft Meade had a surprising number of original looking WWII buildings around the old rail-head. I think CAIN has a bunch too, but mostly renovated. Ft Bragg has quite a few, but most look disused and pretty rough. The Camp Funston part of Ft Riley has a bunch. I didn't spot many at Ft Hood or Ft Bliss, we invested tons of money for milcon so the old buildings were mostly torn down. But I may have missed the old parts, both posts are big. I didn't see many at Jackson or Stewart either, but I didn't take as much time to look. Ft Leavenworth has a couple I think are renovated WWII buildings. Lots of much older buildings on a lot of these posts, but the distinction is that the wooden WWII standardized buildings were built as temporary structures, yet so many are still in service.

I was in a meeting with some XVIII Corps and FORSCOM folks more than a few years back when a discussion about temporary buildings on FBNC and elsewhere came up. There was a DA memo out sometime around 2011-12 about phasing out all the relocatable buildings (RLB) scattered around Army installations. Due to the force growth at the height of OIF and the forever war, we put up tons of temporary construction around the country, most in the form of pre-fab structures and container-like RLBs for offices and barracks. The concern being they are the new WWII barracks, and we'll become dependent on these temporary structures, much like we did post-WWII. I remember thinking to myself that our generation's temp barracks are nowhere near as classy as WWII temp structures, and no way in heck will they still be serving 70-80 years from now. I won't be around to find out, but for now I enjoy seeing the very visible reminders of WWII at Army posts around the country.
 
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