Tuesday, February 3, 2009

U.S. Navy doing it right

Pacific Beacon concept drawing

In the difficult battle to recruit and retain personnel in the modern United States military, the U.S. Navy had a brilliant idea. According to the Los Angeles Times, "To boost morale and reenlistment rates, the Navy and a private development firm have opened the first phase of Pacific Beacon, a $322-million high-rise housing project at Naval Base San Diego." It is four 18 story towers with 941 apartments, many with a view of San Diego Bay. The complex includes a rooftop swimming pool, fitness rooms, classrooms, a WiFi-equipped cafe, game rooms with big-screen TVs and a specially designed poker room. Tight.

Not only that, even better, the complex is reserved for enlisted personnel, from ranks of E-4 (petty officer 3rd class) through E-6 (petty officer 1st class). The rental rates, between $950 and $1,374 a month per bedroom, are set below what sailors receive in their housing allowances. The apartments are six month leases and month-to-month afterward. This is a great deal for America's servicemen and women.

The LA Times reports that, "The Navy has signed private-public agreements for similar housing projects in Norfolk, Va., and Jacksonville, Fla. The other services have sent top officers to study the arrangement."

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