Military Connection: Military Auctions Humvees: By Debbie Gregory

Humvee

Americans love our military surplus items. From the jackets or hats bought in OD green to authentic military apparel and gear purchased, we use the gear to honor and emulate our service members, or replace personal items that wore out.

Usually, military surplus items are limited to clothing, uniforms, patches, empty ammunition cans, boots, medals, watches, knives, decals, flags, compasses, used brass, binoculars, MREs, gloves, and sunglasses. Some people even restore old Jeeps and motorcycles to make them look they were just signed out of the base motor pool. But if you could buy actual military surplus vehicles, would you?

Until December 17, 2014, twenty-five Humvees were collecting dust at Hill Air Force Base near Ogden, Utah. While all of the vehicles are over twenty years old, built between 1987 and the mid-1990’s, their odometers show very little wear on the engines for their age, with mileage ranging between 1,361 and 38,334 miles.

With an estimated 4,000 similar military Humvees stashed throughout the country, the Pentagon’s Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) has to decide what to do with all of them. To test the waters, the DLA has decided to sell these vehicles to private citizens through online auctions, in an attempt to recoup some of the cost, instead of simply scrapping them.

The DLA faced many hurdles, including a previous ban on selling military-grade Humvees to the general public. The ban restricting the sale of M908, M908A1, M1038, and M1038A1 model Humvees was lifted within the last two years, which is why the vehicles are only just now up for sale.

Also, AM General, the company that manufactures the vehicles, is opposed to their sale to private citizens. AM General’s website says that it only sells parts or service information for military-grade models to its military customers, and not for vehicles that “wind up in civilian hands.”

Despite all the hurdles, the DLA put the twenty-five Humvees from Hill Air Force Base up for auction through IronPlanet’s www.govplanet.com at a minimum starting bid of $10,000 for each.

The auction netted $744,000 total. The lowest winning bid was $21,500a 1989 M1038. The highest bid saw a 1994 M998A1 go for $41,000.

The next auction is scheduled for January 7, 2015. There are currently two more Humvees up for grabs, as well as dozens of other vehicles, with many more auctions to come.

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Military Connection: Military Auctions Humvees: By Debbie Gregory