By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Tuesday, November 17 U.S. Representative Mike Rogers (R from Saks) sent a letter to President Obama after learning the Calhoun County Sheriff’s office will lose their two armored vehicles known as M113s.
According to information provided by Congressman Rogers’ office, under President Obama’s Executive Order, the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) must reclaim some surplus military equipment provided under the 1033 program to law enforcement, including the armored vehicles in Calhoun County.
Congressman Rogers wrote to the President, “Your action will do nothing but make our law enforcement officials more vulnerable during the performance of their duties at a time when violent crime and terrorism present a clear threat to public safety.”
Rep. Rogers added, “Less than a week after the horrific attacks on civilians in Paris, it seems more urgent than ever to ensure our law enforcement have the best equipment we can provide to counter any attack. It is just baffling to me that the president would weaken the possible security and safety of our local citizens.”
The M113 tracked vehicle was donated to the agency through the federal 1033 program that gives surplus military equipment and vehicles to law enforcement agencies. President Barack H. Obama (D) amended the 1033 program after some 1033 gear and equipment was used on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri to attempt to quell riots following the shooting death of local resident Michael Brown by a Ferguson Police Officer (the officer was later exonerated of any wrongdoing by a grand jury).
The M113 APCs (Armored Personnel Carriers) are not gunned; but the tracked vehicles (which have been in service with U.S. armed forces since the Vietnam War) are used to protect troops or in this sheriff’s deputies against small arms fire in tactical situations. Situations like what the Paris Police Department were confronted with when eight heavily armed terrorists, believed to be working with the Islamo-fascist group: ISIS, attacked multiple targets in that city on Friday.
The M113 was developed by the Food Machinery Company (FMC) in 1957 and entered full production in 1961. It’s first combat service was with the U.S. Army’s mechanized infantry units in Vietnam in April 1962. It weighs 14 tons. The M113 has a crew of two and can transport up to 11 troops. It was the first APC to be widely deployed. At one point the U.S. Army alone had over 32,000 of the vehicles.
Congressman Mike Rogers represents Alabama’s Third Congressional District.