Construction workers have started to tear down my beloved old DFAC #2. At the start of the job, the scene looked like this:
If you look closely, you’ll see dozens of stickers people had put up on the entrance wall. This was a beloved DFAC, and I must have eaten breakfast here 250 times until it was closed. You already know what I think of the new DFAC #2 (in the background, above). So I’m sad whenever I ride by this site. It now looks like this, with much of it torn down already:
There is a new place to eat now, it is called Ciano Italian Restaurant. It’s a brand-new construction, located next to the USO and across from the MWR East Rec Center, quite close to the PX. This place is doing good business, judging by the large groups of people that I’ve seen eating here. You can see that they’ve painstakingly recreated the aesthetic of Tuscany in this fine Italian villa:
Well, at least they have picnic benches on the porch, which some people like. The inside brings to mind the finest trattorias of Florence:
Most of the cooks are Turkish or Nepalese TCN’s. I don’t like this place. The entire thing is sterile and lacking in style, and the food consists of mediocre pizza for $10 a pie. I see no reason to eat here rather than going to a nice place like DFAC #3, where one can eat all one wants for free. But then I’m a frugal person.
And here is another interesting thing. There is a large, gravel and dust parking lot between Ciano’s and the USO building. Convoys come in to park here, so that the soldiers can go to the PX, rec center, or pool and gym. So it’s not at all unusual to see several heavily armed vehicles in this lot. On this particular day last week, I decided to climb up on several of the vehicles and have a look. Here is a view of a team of Strykers that had come in from one of the outlying FOB’s (forward operating bases):
The folks let me look around inside and even play on top of their Stryker, something I’ve been wanting to do for a while.
This friendly private is the good fellow who gave me the tour and took most of these photos:
There was a convoy of MRAP’s nearby, and I climbed up into the turret on top of one of these also. Here is a view from the top, looking at Ciano’s restaurant. Note how heavily armed the MRAP’s are, they have about as much armament as a Stryker (Cianos is in the background):
The weird black thing at the front is lowered during operations outside the base. It contains glow-plugs, which emit a lot of heat. The purpose is to defeat mines that would otherwise be set off by the heat of the engine.
And that is what it’s like at the old DFAC #2 and the parking lot of the new Ciano’s.
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