July 31, 2015, GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba (NNS) — Commander, Navy Region Southeast (CNRSE) is working with Navy public health and environmental experts to conduct a preliminary inquiry into allegations of cancer among personnel assigned to the Department of Defense Office of Military Commissions site at Naval Station (NS) Guantanamo Bay.
In response to a notification on July 14, 2015, Commander, Navy Region Southeast (CNRSE) is working with Navy public health and environmental experts to conduct a preliminary inquiry into allegations of cancer among personnel assigned to the Department of Defense Office of Military Commissions site at Naval Station (NS) Guantanamo Bay.
The complaint alleges that military and civilian personnel who worked at the Commissions area of Guantanamo Bay were likely exposed to carcinogens. According to the complaint, up to seven individuals who lived and worked in the area have subsequently been diagnosed with cancer.
In response to this complaint, CNRSE and NS Guantanamo Bay Commanding Officer Capt. David Culpepper have requested the support of the Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center (NMCPHC) and other Navy environmental officials to review available records pertinent to the site and the allegations in the complaint.
As part of their review, NMCPHC public health experts are reviewing historical medical records of the individuals identified in the report to confirm the type of cancer and date of diagnosis. Historical environmental data is also being reviewed by NMCPHC to determine if there are any potential health risks from exposure to environmental hazards. This initial review must be completed before a final plan would be developed.
The initial records search is in coordination with NS Guantanamo Bay, Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Atlantic and NAVFAC Southeast. To ensure an exhaustive process and review are met, the records search could take several weeks. Additionally, while records review is taking place, a small team of PH professionals will be traveling to Guantanamo Bay next week to provide subject matter expertise for the base commanding officer and leadership.
Navy leadership is committed to the safety and security of all personnel at its installations and will provide regular updates on the progress of the inquiry at http://www.cnic.navy.mil/regions/cnrse/installations/ns_guantanamo_bay.html,
on the Armed Forces Network’s weekly radio news program “Open Line,” and in the pages of the “Guantanamo Gazette.”