Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Koo-Koo-Ka CHU

I'm not the walrus, nor the Egg Man, but I thought that I would describe in a bit of detail what a Containerized Housing Unit (CHU) is like. This is the quarters most U.S. troops have here in Iraq, and compared to those of you who were living in tents over here in 2003-2005, we have it pretty good.
What every soldier wants, but few get is referred to as a "Wet CHU", which simply means it has indoor plumbing. Those of us living in a "Dry CHU" get to walk anywhere from 20-100 meters to the shower and latrine facilities. Since the housing area footing consists of rocks and big gravel chunks, we normally dress in PT clothes with sturdy shoes to make the trek.
The typical CHU is like a block of one-room FEMA trailers. The ones where we are temporarily billeted have a couple of twin beds, two flimsy metal nightstands, two equally cheap metal wall lockers, and overhead fluorescent lights...and a pretty good air conditioner unit. I'm currently sharing a CHU with my SAC (Special Agent in Charge), and the two other agents from my office are next door. Once we get to our own FOB, we'll all have private CHUs, and can customize 'em with small refrigerators, TVs, maybe a mesh folding chair and computer table. The CHUs (like everything else here) get dusty really fast, so a Swiffer duster and an area rug will be on my immediate shopping list. The CHU I'm currently occupying has a single frosted window, which nobody opens unless the A/C fails....

Like any other real estate, the most important aspect of CHUs is Location, Location, Location. Since it is usually broiling hot, being near the DFAC, gym, PX, and one's workplace is optimum.

By the way, the walls are very thin, so those soldiers engaging in combat boinkery will need to rein in their enthusiasm if desiring any degree of anonymity...

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