Barksdale Air Force Base Closes Dining Hall Due to 'Pest Control Issue' as Photos of Rodents Shared Online

Red River Dining Facility at Barksdale Air Force Base
Airmen stand outside waiting for the Red River Dining Facility to open for lunch at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., April 15, 2020. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Daniel Martinez)

Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana closed its sole dining hall as it deals with an ongoing pest issue, and it will remain unavailable to airmen until the issue is resolved, according to the base.

The Red River Dining Facility at the base, which is located near Shreveport, was closed on April 12 as "part of our ongoing efforts to address a pest control issue, exacerbated by the recent heavy rains forcing pests to seek drier locations," Capt. Hunter Rininger, the chief of public affairs for Barksdale's 2nd Bomb Wing, said in an emailed statement.

Base officials did not confirm the type of pests, but the closure came as photos reportedly of mice and rodents in the kitchen areas were circulating online on the popular Air Force amn/nco/snco Facebook page, where airmen post insider information.

Read Next: 15% Enlisted Pay Hike, Other Proposed Quality-of-Life Improvements Get Big Boost from House Lawmakers

There was no timeline for the dining hall reopening, according to base officials, but there are other areas at Barksdale, such as the base exchange, where airmen can get food.

"Our civil engineer, entomology, public health, and force support teams are working diligently to address the issue," Rininger said. "At this time, we don't have a solidified reopening date as the mitigation efforts are ongoing and there will be a thorough joint inspection conducted by our teams to ensure the facility is safe to re-open."

Rininger added that airmen who have meal deductions coming out of their paychecks will "receive a prorated Basic Allowance for Subsistence refund."

The situation at Barksdale comes amid heavy scrutiny into quality-of-life issues at military dorms, barracks and dining facilities.

Last year, a nearly 100-page report from the Government Accountability Office detailed substandard living conditions such as sewage issues that made entire buildings smell like methane, gave tap water a brown tint and resulted in insect infestations.

Pests such as bedbugs and cockroaches were a common issue at six of the bases that the GAO visited.

Amid the widespread criticism and complaints, a former Army reservist created an app shortly after that report called "Hots&Cots" to increase transparency, reported. It allows service members to review their living situations and meals on base, and users can post pictures of their barracks and meals with a rating of one to five stars.

The issues with barracks, cafeterias and dorms have been known for decades to those in uniform. has also been diligently reporting on the issues.

Most recently, reported that the Army is hoping to increase the number of food kiosks on bases -- a small area where soldiers can grab snacks and food on the go, outside of traditional dining facilities.

In recent years, the Army has opened 14 of them and aims to open an additional 13 within the next year, reported, but soldiers have raised complaints about the offerings, nutrition and portion sizes.

Related: The Army Is Going All-In on Food Kiosks as Base Dining Facilities Struggle

Story Continues