How to Get Surplus Army Tanks

Written by peter timm
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How to Get Surplus Army Tanks
Nothing makes a statement like having your own tank. (tank image by Andrew Breeden from

There's nothing like having your own surplus tank to impress your neighbours. The Federal government disposes of surplus military equipment either by giving it away as foreign aid or by selling it to the general public at auctions. The military vehicles at these auctions usually consist of jeeps or trucks, but occasionally a surplus tank will come up for sale. Of course, the guns on these vehicles have been disabled. The secret behind acquiring a surplus tank is persistently watching for these tanks to become available.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • DLA form 1822
  • DRMS form 1645

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  1. 1

    Become involved with the military vehicle enthusiast community. This includes organisations dedicated to preserving military history and online forums. One of the leading organisations is the Military Vehicle Preservation Association (MVPA). The website offers the collector a wealth of resources. You may also wish to subscribe to a military memorabilia magazine, such as "Army Motors," published by MVPA. These magazines feature classified ads and information concerning upcoming auctions.

  2. 2

    Register as a bidder. Registering as a bidder at a government auction with the intention of buying military equipment requires you to fill out several forms. Fill out a DLA form 1822, an end use form available at Use this form to describe what you plan to do with your tank should you be the one with the winning bid. Once you bid, the form will be forwarded to the Trade Security Council, where it will be processed within 60 days. When you have been cleared, the form is usually good for the next five years. You must also fill out DRMS Form 1645, a statement of intent available at This form describes the property to which the tank is to be delivered and what you plan to do with your tank. This may include an inspection of your property and requests for additional information from local authorities.

  3. 3

    Bid on your tank. If you are the winning bidder and your paperwork clears the Trade Security Council, as well as the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service, then your tank can be delivered to your property.

Tips and warnings

  • Buying and receiving a surplus tank is a complicated process requiring much paperwork. Check with your local authorities concerning zoning laws and any other legal restrictions on maintaining a tank on your property.

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