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Photos: JBER updates barracks

Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardon is completing construction on new barracks that will replace some buildings constructed more than 50 years ago and other temporary barracks. Photographed on Thursday, August 28, 2014.
Marc Lester / Alaska Dispatch News
Spc. Kyle Kimmey lives in one of the new barracks on JBER, which feature private bedrooms and a kitchen shared with just one other soldier. Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardon is completing construction on new barracks that will replace some buildings constructed more than 50 years ago and other temporary barracks. Photographed on Thursday, August 28, 2014.
Marc Lester / Alaska Dispatch News
Temporary barracks like these will be replaced with new barracks when construction is complete on JBER. Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardon is completing construction on new barracks that will replace some buildings constructed more than 50 years ago and other temporary barracks. Photographed on Thursday, August 28, 2014.
Marc Lester / Alaska Dispatch News
Soldiers joke around outside the entry of JBER barracks constructed in the 1950s. Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardon is completing construction on new barracks that will replace some buildings constructed more than 50 years ago and other temporary barracks. Photographed on Thursday, August 28, 2014.
Marc Lester / Alaska Dispatch News
A soldier walks by one of the new barracks on JBER. Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardon is completing construction on new barracks that will replace some buildings constructed more than 50 years ago and other temporary barracks. Photographed on Thursday, August 28, 2014.
Marc Lester / Alaska Dispatch News
Marc Lester

Spc. Kyle Kimmey has a bedroom on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson equipped with Internet and cable. With one other soldier he shares a kitchen, a dining room table, a washing machine and a dryer. Their water runs both hot and cold.  

The linoleum-floored space looks like a cross between a hotel suite and a college dormitory. The 23-year-old soldier from Houston said it’s a step up from the base’s temporary barracks, where he lived for two years, and countless steps above the places he slept while deployed to Afghanistan, where showers ran cold if they ran at all.

“I think this water tank is limitless,” Kimmey said, standing in the room where he moved two months ago. “I have yet to have it run out of warm water.”

Not all single men and women on JBER -- called "unaccompanied personnel" in military speak -- live in modern quarters like Kimmey. Hundreds are sprinkled throughout dated barracks built in the 1950s, where some latrines are shared and hallways dark. Others are assigned to small, single-story buildings with red roofs that were erected as temporary dwellings.

By next summer that all should change, said Jim Hart, JBER spokesperson.

READ MORE: New barracks at JBER big step up from old Alaska facilities