Junkers reach end of the road at Bone Yard
July 15, 2003
CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait — Battle-damaged and unserviceable vehicles too expensive to repair have a home at Camp Arifjan in the Kuwaiti desert: the Bone Yard.
The vehicles and bits of pieces of vehicles cover acres of vast desert for eventual sale in an Army reutilization sale.
The job of running the Bone Yard falls to the 887th Quartermaster Battalion, reservists from across Texas.
“Anything that’s broken comes here,” said 1st Lt. Elisha Corliss, the Battalion’s executive officer, who left behind her husband and children in San Antonio to volunteer for the duty.
If something is repairable, it’s sent off for repairs. If not, it’s junk.
“Everything we take is unserviceable,” Corliss said.
But the 887th doesn’t just process and store unserviceable equipment. It offers freedom from accountability for the units passing through.
“This finishes the paperwork trail so they can get it off their books,” said Maj. Stephen Long, executive officer for the 356th Battalion, which overseas the 887th.
The battalion has collected 23,000 items so far, and they are scattered across 140 acres in carefully organized sections.
Items fall into one of 1,500 categories, ranging from bolts to tanks, said Company Commander Capt. John Ernst from Houston.
“Everybody comes through here,” Corliss said. “We get to hear stories from people who have been all over.”
There’s even a ghost from the past — a mobile kitchen trailer from the Gulf War a decade ago that was recently found and returned.
“We told them to bring back anything Army,” said Lt. Col. Steven Shapiro, commander of Arifjan’s Combat Equipment Battalion.