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Uncle Sam Wants you to Shop Secondhand
Starting on Wednesday you can bid on surplus and scrap metals from the "boneyard" at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona where decommissioned United States military aircraft sit in the hot dessert sun waiting to be stripped down to their base materials.
Right now the yard at Tucson's base is the only location where extra government planes -over 4,200 to be exact- live. Some of the planes are operational or historic but the yard also acts as the military’s own giant pick-a-part for aircraft. Once a plane is no longer useful to the military it will be sold for scrap.
The Department of Defense allows the materials to be sold via the auction site govliquidation.com. This is only the second time in a decade a sale of this nature has been authorized and they say it’s going to be a blowout. Up for bid will be “27 million pounds of ferrous and nonferrous scrap metal” like aluminum, titanium, and steel parts culled from planes like A-4 Skyhawks, F-15 Eagles, and S-3 Vikings.
"By bringing the sale of retired military aircraft to our online auction marketplace, scrap buyers around the world have a unique opportunity to find and bid on top grade aerospace metals,” said Tom Burton, President of Government Liquidation.
The company is the exclusive outlet for the Department of Defense’s and other government surplus items including vehicles, medical equipment, gear, and watercraft.
"We receive 10,000 items per week and 20-30 million pounds of scrap metal per month from our government partner and continue to be successful in finding this inventory a home via our diverse buyer base," Burton noted.
What have thrifty business owners, philanthropists, and private citizens done with their purchases? Through the “Customer Stories” link on the site you can read about Henry from Keahou, Hawaii who purchased diesel generators to run the irrigation pumps needed to water coffee trees. An inner city doctor in Connecticut was able to purchase low-cost medical equipment and an entrepreneur in Houston bought a Navy Utility Boat to convert into a party boat for hire.
A government sale through DLA Disposition Services, a military agency that often contracts with Government Liquidation, was how the Navy's New Bedford became the Sea Bird, a commercial fishing vessel. It’s still the Sea Bird but now has a slightly different mission as it enters the next chapter of its life with us in San Diego and beyond.
Shop secondhand! It’s good for the country, the environment, and your wallet!
1944: Camano Class Light Cargo Ship was laid down for the US Army as FS-289 at Wheeler Shipbuilding in Whitestone, NY.
1955 - 1963: Used as a cargo supply ship for the Texas Towers, a network of advanced radar stations located off the Eastern Seaboard. In 1957, Capt. Sixto Mangual was commander of the AKL-17 and in 1961 it was rechristened the USNS New Bedford. The New Bedford, sailing out of State Pier, was keeping vigil when Texas Tower No. 4 callapsed off the New Jersey coast during a January 1961 nor'easter.
2006: Design of the Tesla Turbine began on June 11, 2006. The Sea Bird was sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service for commercial service.