Support: August 20, 2002


The Army previously invented a portable base camp able to house a battalion of troops, and has deployed 13 of them in Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrghizstan (out of 32 it has in the inventory). Each includes showers, heated and air-conditioned rest areas, a fully-equipped kitchen and mess hall, toilets, a chapel, satellite television, an aid station, and generators to run everything. Each costs $6 million. The Army started developing this "base in a box" after the Gulf War, when the troops complained that long periods in bivouac conditions degraded their ability to function. The entire camp fits into 36 standard 20-foot shipping containers and can be set up in 10 days by a crew of 50. Seven C-17s can deliver the entire package. Add-on packages can expand the capabilities to function in extremely hot or cold areas.--Stephen V Cole


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