Military Transfer to Civilian, LEO, Other Nations, Scrap

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Al Harvey

Active member
Dover, TN
I'm starting this in the Politics Related to the MV Hobby since there are many opinions on what is appropiate for Military surplus equipment and this directly affects our hobby. Please keep this clean and polite. I've picked up that there are many different view points on what LEO should be able to get from the military but at the same time, those persons would like to have the equipment themselves. I believe our hobby is directly affected by the final destination of Military vehicles and equipment. I am truely hoping we can have a very professional discussion about pros and cons about the transfer of surplus equipment from the Military to civilians, LE, Fire Departments, other nations, scrap, etc. Again please keep it professional and remember everyone has their opinion, and their called opinions because there is no right or wrong answer.

Now personally I'm against LE getting MRAPs to use within the United States, and even more against Lewiston, Maine having an APC. But I do understand both sides of the arguement. (Though it is very agrevating when you are trying to bid on something and it's ended early to be given to a local county and is barely, if ever, used.) I just don't think the idea of a vehicle that was built mainly to deal with IEDs being needed by local LE. Now at the same time I completely understand the concerns from LE for protection. One concern I have is practicality of using an MRAP style vehicle in situations other then active shooter, like the L.A. bank robbery in 1997. For situations like that an MRAP is practical but most agreements that allow LE to get equipment from the military requires them to use it in their "drug war" and not to have it "just in case". It does seem that there are many departments who are getting these vehicles because they can and because they are cool. The down side is they are not practical for many situations because they are heavy, tall, loud, and extremely top heavy. The maintance on these vehicles are gonna be expensive and there is concern if the proper maintance will be done. They do offer some of the best protection for the occupants of the vehicle but at the same time anyone who dismounts still has to leave that vehicle that has given it's position away. I feel there is a severe lack of training provide to LEO to properly use these vehicles. I'm afraid of what could happen if one of these vehicles rolls over, crashes into another vehicle, or collapses a bridge in rural areas. I also noticed that after the tragedy of the Boston bombing that the officers using the Bearcats all left the rear doors open while searching for the suspects, that defeats the purpose of having an uparmored vehicle. I know all the controversy around the US becoming a Police State or it's a way around Habeas Corpus. My question here is more on the lines of justification for the use of these vehicles in the LE area.

Now the other options are that the vehicles are scrapped which would put some money back in to the government, but only a small percentage of what was spent on them. We can sell them to other nations, which is good to support our allies but then we also must realize that one day we might be up against our own equipment in a future conflict. Another possibility (which I support more) is to send the vehicles to National Guard units to perform periodic maintance and to keep them in stock for the next conflict instead of buying new ones like our government loves to do. The only other option I see is selling them to the public. Many of us would love to have one to add to our collection. But the cost is super high and getting parts would be a nightmare at this point. I remember seeing a 5ton with a Caimen body on it sell for $99,000 on govliquidation a month or so ago. Some would even argue that there is no difference between a civilian having it verse a police department having the same vehicle. Though civilians are not using that equipment to enforce laws. What is the correct answer on what to do?

Again please keep this professional and polite and lets have an honest discussion (NOT an arguement) with everyone chipping in from military, law enforcement, and civilians.


Staff member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
Buchanan, GA
Let's keep this polite and not have an argument, but out of the gate to start with I'm against them (LE) having these.

Yup, this is going to be yet another political thread. Click.
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