Travel for Food: Eating Around Kandahar Airfield

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North Line DFAC – Kandahar Airfield July 2019

Has anyone ever stopped and wonder what service members, defense contractors, and other people stuck on a U.S military base in Afghanistan ate? While the food is mostly the same whether you are in Kandahar, Herat, Bagram, Mazar-i-Sharif, Kabul, or at other small bases, the menu varies a bit based on where you go.

Kandahar Airfield was a large Coalition base at one point, which means that it had several different military groups from different countries. Back in 2010, there were large numbers of Canadians, New Zealanders, French, British, Australians, and American troops. The smaller groups were the Polish, United Arab Emirate forces, German, Danish, Spanish, Portuguese, Nepali, South Koreans, Mongolians, Bulgarians, Italians, Turks, Irish, Georgians, Jordanians, Croatians, and a few more from other countries.

When people from all walks of life are forced to co-exist, the best food collision happens. When the Canadians were in Kandahar, they bought over Tim Hortons, which is a fast-food chain known in Canada for its coffee and donuts. The Brits bought their stores and cafés with their Ribena, tea, and biscuits; while the French had a shop called Downtown which use to make the best pastries. The Americans bought their love for fast food franchises such as KFC, Nathan’s Hotdog, Green Bean Coffee, Pizza Hut, Subway, and TGI Friday. The German opened a small restaurant called Echoes, and the Dutch had their store called B and S Global. Of course, this was only the tip of the iceberg as each major military group had what is known as a designated dining facility known only by its acronym DFAC. Everyone used the acronym, and instead of saying each letter, we pronounced it as if it was its own word; so DFAC was pronounced deefac. The Canadians had a DFAC called Niagara, the Germans had their own which was later called the Asian DFAC, the pilots and Air Force personnel went to North Line DFAC, while the Brits hung out at the Cambridge DFAC. The Americans had two DFACs called Monti and Independence DFAC, which were known to be the worse of the bunch. Most of these dining facilities have long closed, leaving only the Asian, Niagara, and North Line DFAC.

The North Line DFAC

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North Line DFAC – Kandahar Airfield July 2019

On the 25th of July 2019, I ate at the North Line DFAC, which is known as the best deefac on Kandahar Airfield. I had lunch on this day, and this is what I had; Quinoa with lettuce salad, something called Carolina rids and loaded mash potatoes with fruit on the side. While some days can seem like we are eating the same dishes repeatedly the North Line DFAC is perhaps the best place to eat on Kandahar Airfield.