A B-Hut is an abbreviation for "Barracks Hut". The British Army commonly used the term "Barracks Hut" to refer to temporary billets for military personnel as far back as the 1800s.The term "Barrack" means: A building or group of buildings used to house military personnel. Often used in the plural. e.g. Barracks. The definition of "Hut" is a temporary structure for sheltering troops. Barracks Hut was almost always used when referring to cheaply made temporary shelter or housing. Since the US invasion of Afghanistan, the abbreviated term "B-Hut" has become a common term for US soldiers and contractors alike. The B-Hut is much more common in Afghanistan than Iraq due to the lack of infrastructure, building materials (besides mud) and of permanent buildings, by western standards. It is suggested, not confirmed, that the term B-Hut/Barracks Hut was carried over in vocabulary from British occupation and influence in Afghanistan during the early 1900s
Often referred to as a "hooch", the B-Hut usually houses up to eight single persons, but can contain more if not broken down into separate rooms. It is cheaply made (US Gov't cost of about $15,000 each at time of construction) of plywood and divided up into 2, 4, 6, or 8 separate rooms with a common walkway down the center, or left "open" containing one large space. A typical B-hut usually has two entrances, two or three fluorescent lights on the ceiling, a small ductless air conditioning unit above each door. Each room usually has a window with a latch for climate control purposes and an electrical outlet for each occupant. B-huts afford no protection from indirect or direct fire and are often ridiculed by the service members and contractors who reside in them, but they offer a small amount of privacy to the occupant in allowing him/her to have their own room - an opportunity rarely afforded to deployed personnel.
B-huts require constant maintenance and painting and are built knowing that they are only expected to last three or four years. DoD is currently (FY 2011) seeking Afghan contract bids for concrete B-Huts which is ironic based upon the meaning of B-Hut. The heat of many forward deployed areas makes quick work of the plywood structure. It is imperative that occupants of this structure keep their living areas clean and free of open beverage or food containers as vermin can easily gain entrance.