In an unprecedented move, the U.S. military is auctioning off 4,000 Humvees to the general public, much to the opposition of the manufacturer, who doesn’t want military vehicles falling into civilian hands, Army Times reports.
Rumors had been circling for some time that the coveted Humvees would be offered for sale to the public, and a statement from auction service IronPlanet finally confirmed the arrangement on December 4: “GovPlanet, the marketplace for buying and selling used government assets, has a few exciting additions to its Dec. 17 auction. Buyers can now view and bid on used Humvees ahead of the live online auction. Each item on GovPlanet is listed with a guaranteed inspection report which details the condition and features and provides photos.”
The idea is to put the aging vehicles to some use, rather than simply scrapping them. “With cooperation from other government offices, DLA Disposition Services can now make some military vehicles into assets instead of having to send them to be scrapped,” DLA public affairs chief Michelle McCaskill told Army Times.
Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) is coordinating with IronPlanet, an online auctioning service for heavy machinery, to set the starting bid price at $10,000. IronPlanet received the contract from DLA in July, with the caveat that the Humvees must be restricted to off-road use. The bidding process officially starts on December 17 for a group of 25 Humvees manufactured between 1987 and the mid-1990s. All 25 of the Humvees have already received bids.
State and local governments receive first priority before the Humvees are offered to the public. The other 4,000 surplus vehicles need to receive careful inspection from DLA first, now that these older models have been removed from the list of official military machinery as of 2013.
“We definitely see lots of interest, and we’re certainly excited to have the opportunity to sell these,” said Randy Berry, IronPlanet’s senior vice president for operations and services. “These items have been scrapped up to now…so it’s a win for the taxpayers and everybody involved here.”
Manufacturer AM General is displeased with the decision, arguing that the Humvees should stay in military hands and not be exposed to civilians, mostly because the vehicles were not designed with civilian safety standards in mind. Many private companies and individuals have anticipated the release for some time, since Humvees were previously illegal in almost all cases for non-military entities to possess over the last 30 years.
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