[Fwd: [MV] RE 3rd world military surplus]

David C. Decker (campdeck@infomagic.com)
Thu, 11 Dec 1997 13:23:49 -0800

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As an RVN vet, I have had the opportunity to talk to quite a few other
vets who have returned to RVN. There isn't many places where equipment is
visible. After the war ended in 75, North Vietnam moved the majority of
trucks and other commercially usefull stuff to the north. I heard once
that the US has never given up title to any equipment left in RVN, so
buying something over there and bringing it back is not an option. A few
Aussie buddies have imported a few light aircraft, but remember, Vietnam
continued the war after 75 with their invasion of Cambodia and their
defense against the Chinese incursion in the north.
The only winnners out of that whole affair were the defense contractors
who supplied the equipment and the North Vietnamese who ended up with it,
along with perhaps the Russians who received a bunch of secret stuff.
All in all a shamefull part of American history.
As a side note, many helicopter parts from Vietnam entered the world
market repackaged as brand new Bell Helicopter parts which has led in
part to complete from the source tracking of every nut and bolt that now
goes into a commercial aircraft.
I have also heard horror stories of persons trying to buy stuff out of
Vietnam, only to be screwed in the long run. I also know that some M-16s
ended up in Central America, verified by serial numbers. The world arms
market is twisted and profitable. If you are crazy and have a lot of
loose cash, go ahead and try, good luck, remember the song "Send lawyers,
guns and money, Dad get me out of this."
I just remembered, I have a VHS tape that shows local Vietnamese in the
countryside picking up metal to sell to Japan. Every once in awhile,
someone gets blown up because they fool with a 'dud' arty round. The
Japanese did the same thing after Desert Storm.

Dave in Flagstaff, AZ.,USA

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I was down at Southeastern Equipment Co (now SECO) in 1983 and they had a bunch
of CCKW's that were headed for El Salvador. They also had a bunch of M151's
going to or coming from Israel.

When we left Vietnam, they had the 3rd largest Air Force in the world! I wonder
how big their ground forces were and how many wharehouses full of M-series
parts there may be over there...


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