BATTLE CREEK, Mich. –
The Defense Logistics Agency’s property disposal team in South Korea recently helped assure U.S. Army readiness by assisting the Camp Carroll-based 65th Medical Battalion to part ways with more than 60 aging ambulances.
The trucks, known officially as M977A3s, are built on a High-Mobility Multi-Wheeled Vehicle, or HMMWV frame, and have “advanced armor protection,” according to the manufacturer. Additionally, they can potentially operate in nuclear, biological, or chemical response situations, can perform water crossings up to 60 inches deep and climb road grades as steep as 60 percent – making them something far from a normal ambulance.
According to Property Disposal Specialist George Bulan, the Gimcheon-based DLA Disposition Services property disposal crew recently oversaw the full dismantling and destruction of the vehicles, per established demilitarization guidelines, over a period of a few months as the Army turned in a handful of the vehicles at a time.
“These vehicles don’t have an offensive capability,” Bulan said, which is one of the primary reasons items are typically coded for destruction. In the case of these armored battlefield ambulances, however, an adversary could potentially recover various parts to “restore or repair to a usable condition.” DLA’s “Demilitarization as Condition of Sale” contracts deny the opportunity for individual pieces to slip out of the reverse logistics chain to be sold and put back together later.
DLA Disposition Services oversees the demilitarization of millions of pounds of eventual scrap at locations all around the world each year, the sales of which offset costs incurred by the armed services for disposal support.