MARINE CORPS AIR STATION YUMA, Ariz. --
The station spent $1.7 million on improvements to station barracks in fiscal year 2010, with another $1.6 million slated for FY- 11, for further renovations.
Barracks upgrades across station include black-out shades, identification card swipes for the doors, new furniture and entertainment equipment.
Barracks 720, 724, 859 and 662 are slated to have black-out shades installed, while, barracks 634 and 635 have already had the shades installed. The shades allow Marines the option to eliminate 100 percent of the light coming into their rooms.
“These improvements are for the Marines,” said Master Sgt. Kenneth Wertman, Installations and Logistics chief. “They’re going to improve the lives of the shift workers and make the barracks seem a bit more like home, not a hotel.”
Rooms in barracks 662, 914, 720, 724 and 859 are also slated to receive electric card-entry locks.
“The card swipes are going to help tremendously with the lost keys and any kind of theft in the barracks,” said Wertman.
The locks will only work with the Marine’s assigned to the room identification card, and will let I&L track who accessed the room last in case of an incident.
While the shades are scheduled to be completed in March, 2011, the electronic locks have no definite end-of-project date. Both projects combined will improve 634 rooms and affect more than 1,000 Marines.
While there have been rumors of a forced exodus to transient barracks through the renovation, no Marines will be moved, said Wertman.
Two barracks have already received full furniture replacements, which occur every seven years, with two more scheduled for FY-11.
“So far only barracks 634 and 635 have been completely finished,” said Wertman. “Next is 662, which will begin in January 2011 and 724 which will be done by the end of fiscal year 2011.”
Barracks common areas also received an upgrade as the station spent $21,000 on pool and foosball tables.
The improvements are part of the Corps’ declared mission to provide a greater quality of barracks for Marines.
“One of the [former] commandant’s focuses has been to build quality (bachelor enlisted quarters) for the Marines, said Sgt. Maj. Carlton Kent, sergeant major of the Marine Corps. “We have been delinquent in the past, but the [former] commandant said, ‘It’s time to focus on those single Marines.’”