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Defense Surplus Equipment Disposal: Background Information

DLA Disposition Services

DLA Disposition Services manages the reutilization, transfer, donation and sale of surplus military property. The Reutilization/Transfer/Donation Program through DLA Disposition Services establishes a process for property, considered no longer needed by DOD, to be redistributed among various groups. Property considered surplus can be reused, transferred, donated, or sold; potential recipients may include law enforcement agencies, school systems, medical institutions, civic and community organizations, libraries, homeless assistance providers, state and local government agencies, veteran’s organizations, and the public.

Finally, DLA Disposition Services manages the DOD surplus property sales program. Property that is no longer needed by the government may be acquired through public sales, if the property is appropriate and safe for sale to the general public.

Past Legislative Activity

P.L. 112-81 (H.R. 1540, 112th Congress) contained a provision (Section 361) that clarified a previously enacted provision (Section 346 of the Ike Skelton National Defense Authorization Act for FY2011, P.L. 111-383) which made available for sale any small arms ammunition and small ammunition components which were in excess of military requirements. Section 361 amended the conditions that would govern the commercial sale of small arms ammunition components and fired cartridge cases.

H.Rept. 112-329, the conference report that accompanied H.R. 1540, offered the following clarification.

The conferees note that the intent of section 346 of P.L. 111-383, as amended, is to clarify that the only fired cartridge cases (referred to as expended small arms cartridge cases) subject to the provision are intact expended small arms cartridge cases and that the provision does not apply outside the continental United States or overrides established Department of Defense (DOD) trade security controls or explosives safety controls. The conferees note that the DOD would be permitted to demilitarize and recycle expended small arms cartridge cases covered by the provision so long as there is not a significant decrease in intact expended small arms cartridge cases being made available for sale and there is no evidence that commercial demands are not generally being met. The conferees note that based on its current force structure and training requirements, the DOD currently makes approximately 6- 8 million pounds of intact (non-demilitarized) expended small arms cartridge cases available each year for commercial sales. The conferees recognize that the amount made available may change as the DOD’s force structure or training requirements change. The conferees note that the DOD would be responsible for assessing commercial demands for the purpose of implementing this requirement; the conferees understand that the DOD may choose to conduct market surveys or studies to assess commercial demands for this purpose. 14

In the 111th Congress, the Ike Skelton National Defense Authorization Act for FY2011 (P.L. 111- 383, H.R. 6523) contained a provision (Section 1072) that amended Title 10 Section 2576 to broaden the categories of state and local organizations that would be eligible for surplus military


Subtitle G – Other Matters. H.Rept. 112-329, H.R. 1540.

Congressional Research Service


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