Hotel Kandahar

Depending on your organization and your length of stay here, your accommodations may vary just a bit.

The combat troops passing through en route to the “downrange” zones further south, where there is considerable fighting going on, will spend several days here for acclimitization and some local training. These guys are assigned to the largest open-bay berthing I’ve ever seen: think “a bunkroom the size of a K-Mart”. So these are the standard double-high Army bunks, with the washing-up in separate adjacent facilities. The women have identical accommodations, next door, with a “Females only” sign on both the berthing and the washing-up.

If you are here longer, as many of the NATO forces are here for some months, your accommodation is an eight (?)-man tent, sort of a textile version of the WWII-era Quonset huts. These are arranged in orthogonol clusters, making streets and alleys. Picture here. (I don’t know where this shot was taken, but it’s certainly a smaller place than Kandahar today.)

The next step up is a pre-fabricated type of housing the design of which must have originated with the 20-foot shipping containers (CONEX or ISO boxes) used in the States for intermodal freight. Only the design, mind you — these are new pre-fab kits, with steel frames and pre-fab floor, ceiling, and wall (some walls have windows) panels. They can be erected on-site with small crews and a minimum of equipment, usually on a foundation of concrete block or a poured concrete pad. Again the washing-up is in separate but adjacent facilities of the same sort. I believe these are used for 2-man or 4-man (if bunkbeds) accommodations. Picture here.

Permanent party base and support personnel are in newly constructed masonry buildings, with the washing-up in the building proper. My E-3 USAF roommate didn’t quite believe me when I told her that onboard ship, there would be 12 living in the space allotted to the 2 of us.

Everything is air-conditioned, of course.


One response to “Hotel Kandahar

  1. Glad you got just one bunkie! Lordy, K-Mart sized quarters? This was very interesting!

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