Monday, November 22, 2010

In case you we wondering, THIS IS WHERE I LIVE

This is my CHU, or Containerized Housing Unit. Notice the size of each of the three units. Mine is the one on your left. Amenities include bomb shelter and blast walls.

Earlier in the blog I described first going to CONUS (Continental United States) Replacement Center at Fort Benning, Georgia and I included two pictures of myself along with my three bunkmates.  This is a permanent structure and we were staying in a real building aka a "hard building" which means a permanently constructed building.  When I got to Kuwait that base has probably been open a few years and maybe after the mission in Iraq is over it will be closed. So for the time being the set up is a large tent built over a concrete floor.

I'm not completely sure why but at my base in Iraq a few years ago, they decided to stop using tents and they brought in what are basically small sub-divided trailer parks called "Containerized Housing Units" call CHUs (pronounced chew). They are basically shipping containers roughly divided into thirds with connected electrical wiring and a built in heater & air conditioner.  The enlisted personnel and the officers below the rank of Major live in CHUs built for two single beds and do not have water and these are called dry CHUs) so the occupants have to go outside to a bathroom/shower that's been installed in either a big trailer or in two separate trailers that are joined together. 

The officers from the rank of Major (which includes me) and up are given the courtesy of a private but even smaller CHU that is only big enough for one person but it does contain a bathroom and a shower and it's called a wet CHU.  The shower is okay but the water pressure is so poor that I try not to use the bathroom and instead I prefer the outside latrines.

If you'd like to see an actual tour of a Chu at Adder I found one on youtube:

If you’d rather skip the Youtube tour I’ll describe it and it won’t take long because there’s not much to say.  There are electric lights with outlets, a small single bed, a single chair and a small wardrobe closet plus a very small bathroom.  There are obviously no cooking facilities since we go to mess halls, which are now known as the DFAC , which is short for Dining Facility.  It’s a generic room for one and if you had a guest it would be a challenge for both of you not to become claustrophobic.  

Officially we are allowed to have guests in our CHU but only of the same sex and the army doesn't mess around with this.  We have been told repeatedly and emphatically that we will be severely punished and prosecuted under the Uniform Code of Military Justice if any member of the opposite sex is allowed in your CHU. It's uncanny but these are the army rules. (The army also has very strict rules about officers "fraternizing" with enlisted personnel and because of a scandal involving drill sergeants several years ago they have zero tolerance for sexual harassment.)


In the previous posting "This is where I Live" CHU was listed as an abbreviation for "Compact Housing Unit"
This was an error.  CHU is actually an abbreviation for "Containerized Housing Unit.  The correction has already been applied.


Major Marty said...

major marty

Roberta Gang said...

Hi Marty, I check your blog periodically and am thrilled to read your newest post. We miss you. Rina, Joey, Ariel and David will be joining us for Thanksgiving. Then we will be Joining Joan and the kids for dessert at your house. We will be giving thanks and blessings to you on Thanksgiving Day.

Nick will be home for the holiday. Jon started his new job in Denver last week so he wasn't able to take the time off to come for Thanksgiving.

You look great in the pictures. Be well, be safe.

Roberta and David Gang

Rina Miller said...

Hi Martin,

Thank you so much for creating this wonderful blog. We've checked it often to keep updated on your adventures and your observations.

You will be greatly missed at Thanksgiving. We are fortunate to be celebrating it in Longmeadow this year with the Gangs and with your family. Rest assured there will be a grateful toast in your honor when we gather at your home for dessert.

Chanukah falls quickly after Thanksgiving and so I am using this post to wish you a Happy Chanukah as well. I am curious to know how that will be celebrated in the military in an Arabic country. Hope you will be writing about that in your next post.

Take good care dear friend and neighbor,
We are grateful for your service,

Rina and Joey

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