CHU means Containerized Housing Unit (pronounced “choo”) and is the usual housing for many of our Iraq deployed soldiers. Some soldiers in Afghanistan also live in CHUs but they are not the usual housing there.
CHUs are aluminum boxes measuring 22 x 8 feet, a little bigger than a commercial shipping container. They can be easily transported on trucks. CHUs have linoleum floors and cots or beds inside. Each CHU has a door, window, top vent, power cabling, and air conditioner for summer heat. Depending on how these insulated CONEX railroad shipping containers are configured, a CHU may house four people or just split into a two person unit. Some have a shower and toilet between the room.
Each living space in a CHU has a bed, end table, and wall locker. Sometimes soldiers get refrigerators and TVs.
Many of the FOBs (Forward Operating Bases) consist of many CHUs – thus the term CHUville. A Living Area (LA) is where dozens of CHUs are surrounded by 12-foot-high blast walls with latrine CHUs and Shower CHUs in the middle.
Sometimes, CHU are stacked two high, lined up in neatly organized rows. The CHUs often are surrounded by bags of dirt and concrete T-walls (like a retaining wall). These items are put in place for protection.
I found some random pictures of CHUs posted by soldiers on the Internet to give you a better idea of what it’s like to live in a shipping container.
Lord bless our soldiers.