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The Army played down a report from USA Today on Monday that barracks for wounded soldiers at Fort Sill, Okla., were infested with mold.

USA Today reported that 20 soldiers living in the barracks said they had been complaining about the mold since April, but Army officials did nothing in response and told them not to talk about the problems.

But Army officials said mold was cleaned up after it was found in two separate inspections of two buildings in April and July.

After the mold was found for the second time, Fort Sill’s garrison commander decided to replace the air conditioning ducts rather than clean them, said base spokesman Jon Long.

The process is expected to take at most between 45 and 60 days.

No complaints from soldiers on the mold went up the chain of command, Long said.

When the mold was discovered in July, a captain with the Fort Sill Inspector General’s Office told several soldiers not to talk about the matter "to prevent unfounded rumors" until it was determined whether the mold posed any type of health risk, said Army spokesman Paul Boyce.

"The young IG captain was following standard protocol as prescribed for IG inspections," Boyce said.

Army Secretary Peter Geren is expected to make a prescheduled visit to Fort Sill on Tuesday, but it is not yet known whether he will visit the barracks in question, Army officials said.


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