Friday, July 9, 2010

Selling Surplus Military Equipment

The Israeli army has opened up an internal eBay-like store which will allow its various divisions to sell off excess equipment and purchase what they need from other units that may have extras. It's the ultimate redistribution of wealth without all the bureaucracy. When I read about this on a local news site, it reminded me of Elie telling me a story about the Second Lebanon War.

It seems that when the paratroopers made a hasty retreat from Lebanon, the Artillery division "confiscated" an armored personnel carrier that had been part of the paratrooper unit. It could be that I have the unit wrong and it was Givati or Golani, but either way, the vehicle ended up with Artillery. Apparently knowing the vehicle was lost and belonged elsewhere didn't bother Artillery - they simply repainted it and accepted the "gift."

At some point, years later, the original unit discovered their error and traced the APC to Artillery. Unabashed as only Israelis can be...the APC was returned (incorrectly painted and bearing the markings of Artillery). Elie laughed years ago when he told me this story...and I laugh again now as I remember his finding this so amusing. I almost wish I had access to this army e-Bay imitation to see what they are selling and buying.

1 comment:

Lewis Redmond said...

That's a common trait in the IDF and has been since it's inception. In "Desert Eagles" about the Israeli Air Force in 1948, the author mentions repeatedly that any vehicle unguarded was fair game for "midnight requisition." Several books I have about the 1973 war emphasizes this tendency.

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