Military moves surplus through auction - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Military moves surplus equipment through auction


The heavy equipment at Fort Stewart has seen years of use and training, whether or not it deployed with the units that used it.

When it has served its purpose or been replaced with a newer model, few think of where it goes next. Few, except Leander Berry and others at Property Disposal.

That's the department that sorts through surplus, which ranges from rolling stock to office furniture, to scrap metals such as damaged bunk beds to tons of ammunition shell casings.

They sort through tons of each to save as much as possible from landfills and find new uses for it wherever possible.

They have seen an increase in recent months for two reasons.

"We are seeing some with the downsizing. With the military coming back from overseas, we are seeing some of that property and the military slimming down and the property has to go somewhere," he explained.

Berry said Fort Stewart and the Army have become more diligent in finding new uses and revenue for the property.

"When we get trucks, humvees, trailers, rolling generators, we hold them for 49 days in case another unit has use of them," he said. "After that, we open it up for other government agencies, forestry units, sheriff's offices, and they can get it free."

Humvees and any armored pieces do not go to public auction. Neither do the military-grade camo netting used to hide ground positions.

The nettings are shredded and disposed in landfills and the armored units are disassembled or taken to bombing ranges for target practice.

What remains is turned over to Goverment Liquidations, a contractor with 200 sites at military posts across the country. Agents like Doug Nunan process through surplus and scrap and put it online for bidders to see.

"It's free to register, anyone can register on the site. It's similar to eBay, placing bids and things like that. Usually the minimum bid for an item would be $25 and it starts from there," Nunan explained.

The company pays the Defense Department for what it takes and sells it to the public.

"Over the past ten years, we have put over $500 million back to the federal government," he added. "In addition, we save 20,000 to 30,000 pounds of scrap from going in the landfill on a monthly basis."

To visit the site, go to 

Copyright 2013 WTOC. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly