Oh my…

The REMFS are gonna be pissed:

American fast food joints are being shut down at U.S. military bases in Afghanistan, where Gen. McChrystal’s ordered the Army and Air Force Exchange Service to shutter the Taco Bells, Burger Kings and other amenities.

I’m of two minds about this. I’m somewhat appalled by the luxuries that Fobbits have access to, so seeing them suffer warms my cold little heart.

The Air Force folks on those bases are gonna go nuts.

But, on the other hand, on the rare occasions that a grunt from the front line gets back to a major base, now he’s screwed and can’t even get a decent burger.

8 thoughts on “Oh my…”

  1. What do you need a jewelry store on a base in a combat zone for? Have you ever read “Fields of Fire” by James Webb? He was SecNav when I was on Okinawa and he came for a visit so we all had to read his book. Anyway he has a scene in it where he is talking about the clubs on the bases in the rear areas that sounds a lot like this.

    (It’s funny I have talked more about my time in the navy in the last 6 months than I have in the last 15 years :-P)

  2. I agree with you on the two-mind’s thing. A better solution might be for the military to just shut everything down and send entire units on R7R to Kuwait or something like that.

    The other problem with all these joints is you have lots of foreign nationals working there, and that ALWAYS is cause for concern about OpSec and potential attacks.

  3. Well, you can’t just rotate a unit willy-nilly. You think handing off an op-area for a P-3 squadron is hard, try moving one battalion into another AO. Logistics aside, it takes a while to introduce the leadership to the local power structure, learn where the hot spots are, and get the “feel” of the area. It is tough enough that they have to do it every year. Twice a year becomes unmanageable.

    And you can’t just pack up for two weeks, or you prove the Taliban’s point that we aren’t there for the long haul.

  4. Oh, I agree. I should have been more specific. I was thinking more along the lines of platoons being rotated out for R7R from the Battalion AO, not the entire battalion. You bet it’s tough standing down a leg unit, or any other unit. It was hard enough with the P-3 squadrons. I can well imagine what it takes to move an entire battalion.


  5. I think everyone here is wrong–to an extent. While there were no Taco Bells nor BKs in Vietnam as the “globalization” of commerce hadn’t yet made such things possible, we certainly had their functional equivalents in terms of a glorified PX/BX system and enlisted & O-Clubs, etc. The point is, why wear hair shirts? They didn’t have air support in the Civil War either. Is that a “luxury” that should be eschewed? (i.e., real men don’t need fancy smanchy air-support.) How about the standard of food, movies, video games on Naval ships compared to WWII? Should we roll everything back to WWII standards? Or even back to the 80s and do away with e-mail & internet connections? Puuleeeze!!!!

    If the Army wants to live like Cave-men, fine–just don’t force us AF types to needlessly wear the same hair shirts. As one Army grunt once wrote in the Army times complaining about daily reveilee: “Why do we even have it any more? The AF doesn’t, yet somehow they manage to roll out of bed in time to provide air-support and troop transport when we need it.”
    (BTW, the school newspaper at my alma mater, LSU, “The Old War Skule,” whose 1st President was none other than W.T.Sherman, and began life as Louisiana Military Academy, LMI, is named “The Daily Reveilee.”)

  6. Upon further reflection one point few consider. With the advent of the all-volunteer “professional” Army patriotism is no longer the motivating factor and the draft no longer available to insure enough bodies. And especially as enlisted pay-scales were really never adjusted to reflect a mainly married force, but are still roughly based with only minor adjustments on the single male housed in open-bay barracks, the ONLY thing that makes life tolerable–especially in a combat zone in a war in which initial entheusiasm for the war for the 4th tour troop has undoubtedly waned–are fringe benefit bennies like Taco Bell, milk-shakes, etc.

    This move could drastically affect retention rates.

  7. I told you the Air Force would whine.

    With the advent of the all-volunteer “professional” Army patriotism is no longer the motivating factor and the draft no longer available to insure enough bodies.

    Don’t bet your bippy on that. Patriotism, (or Service to Country, in the patois of a recruiter) is a HUGE influence in the initial decision to enlist during wartime, as is a longing for Adventure- Young guys want to see if they measure up, and they want to be a part of something larger than themselves.

    Virgil, we often talk about the services are at war, the nation’s at the mall. Well, I think this is a furtherance of that philosophy. The line companies are at war, the Fobbits are at Taco Bell. I suspect that was what drove the decision. And it isn’t like they closed EVERYTHING. I was shocked by the list of what wouldn’t be closed.

    During Desert Storm, we had a much thinner logistical tail. The entire Brigade’s PX system was a Conex Box. I saw it once. I was allowed to buy one pack of Marlboros. Mind you, I was representing my entire squad, who were ALL smokers and all wanted some smokes.

  8. I agree/disagree with you both, but that’s based on what I’ve seen here. I confess to terminal incuriosity on what is being left open. I was perfectly happy with the Navy Exchange snack bar when I was in Italy, and the same with the AAFEX in Germany. My father never joined the NCO club, and to early teen years kid the snack bar was fine. I see nothing wrong with having such in either AO in Asia. I could get an acceptable steak, or a milk shake either way. Why does it have to be Burger King?

    When I was in, our favorite place at NOB NORVA was the all you could eat fish special at the Navy Exchange snack bar. I saw Admirals and a Marine 3 star, who I was told was CG of the Atlantic Fleet Marine Force, stuffing themselves with fish.

    Personally, I would not complain if McChrystal closed everything except good Snack Bar. Who needs Mickey D’s junk?

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