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NEWS | Jan. 26, 2024

Fort Buchanan showcases its quality of life mission

By Carlos Cuebas U.S. Army Garrison Fort Buchanan

Col. Charles N. Moulton, Fort Buchanan commander, Command Sgt. Maj. Roderick W. Hendricks, the post-command Sergeant Major, Caleb Santiago, a project engineer from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer Task Force Virgin Islands Puerto Rico (VIPR) and other members of the installation team, conducted a press conference at on post, where they showcased the Army’s resolute commitment with our service members quality of life, Jan 18.

Using the new construction of 26 Army housing units as a backdrop for the media encounter, Moulton discussed Fort Buchanan’s mission.

“We are the Army’s home in the Caribbean, and we provide quality of life services to the 15,000 service members we serve,” the Fort Buchanan commander said.

The residential area under construction, previously known as Coconut Grove, is one of two housing areas within Fort Buchanan.

“What you see here are 26 homes to support the community Fort Buchanan serves. These homes here are being built to the highest standards. You all know the cost of a storm or hurricane,” Moulton said.

Currently, 29 families live in the only U.S. Army installation in the Caribbean. Once the new housing units are ready, the number will increase to 55. Some service members reside within the local economy.

The single-family, one-story military homes are prepared to withstand the impact of hurricanes and earthquakes. Each house has four bedrooms. They range from 1,200 to 1,800 square feet.

“The project cost includes demolishing the previous existing homes and the quality control elements that we require,” said Santiago.

“They are also designed for what is known as ‘shelter in place,’ so that in the case of an atmospheric event, their families can remain in their homes and have all the necessary safety elements,” the engineer added.

According to Santiago, the project generates 50 direct jobs and will bring $1.4 million in taxes to the Municipality of Bayamón. The contractor is a Puerto Rican firm based in Toa Baja.

In addition to the military housing complex, Fort Buchanan is working on renovating the post gymnasium for $10 million and the construction of a microgrid, currently in the design phase, for approximately $52 million.

“The microgrid will allow us to store part of the energy we produce and to be more resilient,” said Moulton.

Meanwhile, Fort Buchanan will conduct the ribbon-cutting ceremony of a modern Army Reserve Center that will accommodate 1,400 soldiers next month. This project required an investment of $29 million.

As part of the press conference, media outlets also had the opportunity to witness the quality of life that the Fort Buchanan Child and Youth Services (CYS) provides to military families in Puerto Rico.

“Our CYS serves approximately 400 children. The program provides food, education, and extracurricular activities, including music classes, robotics, sports, art, and sewing, among other things, to eligible military and civilian children,” said Scott Abell, Director of Morale Welfare and Recreation.

According to Moulton, in 2024, Fort Buchanan will support the mobilization and deployment of Soldiers from the National Guard and the Army Reserve, as well as Sailors and Marines, to different regions around the globe in support of the needs of the nation.

“As you can see, this year will be busy at Fort Buchanan as we continue providing services and quality of life to our service members and their families. Providing quality of life enables local units to be ready to deploy, fight, and win decisively against any adversary, anytime and anywhere,“ Moulton said.