Three point six billion dollars. Yes, that is billion with a B.

$3.6 billion is the financial figure Brig. Gen. Benjamin Watson, commanding general, Marine Corps Installations East-Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, is requesting in order to restore Marine Corps installations on the East Coast back to the readiness level it was before Hurricane Florence.

Watson invited media to tour Camp Lejeune, Feb. 6, 2019 to show the damage caused by Hurricane Florence and how it is impacting the operational readiness of the base. Local media outlets touring Camp Lejeune saw damage to several headquarters buildings and Onslow Beach, giving them a first-hand look at the severity of conditions the Marines are continuing to battle while they accomplish their daily mission.

“I think this will help the general public and our legislators in understanding the continuing impacts of Hurricane Florence,” said Watson. “Once you get inside the buildings you will see the pervasive effects of the water damage.”

Many service members are working in heavily degraded buildings, forcing them to carry on with their duties while they combat the elements. Marines, Sailors and civilians on Camp Lejeune are having to withstand the cold, endure the rain and even move to alternate locations due to the severity of the destruction.

“The physical and emotional energy it takes from our service members to do their job is significantly more than it was prior to the storm” said Watson.

The Marines on Camp Lejeune and other East Coast installations remain mission capable, as they have always found a way to win battles in the toughest of conditions.