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Army Museum artifacts for "training" vs "historical value"?
The AFV ASSOCIATION was formed in 1964 to support the thoughts and research of all those interested in Armored Fighting Vehicles and related topics, such as AFV drawings. The emphasis has always been on sharing information and communicating with other members of similar interests; e.g. German armor, Japanese AFVs, or whatever.
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Neil_Baumgardner
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:43 am
Post subject: Army Museum artifacts for "training" vs "historical value"?

Question for former Army museum employees & volunteers: in your experience, is there a distinction between artifacts that are useful for soldier training and those of historical value? I dont see the distinction, particularly if you are training soldiers on the history of their branch...

But that's the baby the Senate Armed Services Committee is asking the Army to try to divide for the Armor/Ordnance/ADA collections. That being said, the intent of the language below is to enable the "historical" artifacts to be put on public display at privately-funded museums (vs the "training" artifacts that will be stored for soldier training at facilities paid for with public funds). Unfortunately, the committee is opposed to using public funds to enable public access.

Maybe (hopefully?) the Army will use this distinction to recreate what existed at Fort Knox with the Patton Museum vs Richardson Motor Pool? Who knows...

www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/...srpt26.pdf

"Storage of Army artifacts
The fiscal year 2011 budget request for the Department of the Army recommended funding in Military Construction, Army, for three climate controlled storage buildings at Forts Benning, Lee, and Sill. These facilities were intended to support movement of Army macro-artifacts which were following Training and Doctrine Command schools re-locating as part of the Base Closure and Realignment 2005 process. Although the Ike Skelton National Defense Authorization act for Fiscal Year 2011 (Public Law 111–383) did not authorize these projects, the committee supports the requirement to protect and preserve these historical collections.

"The committee has encouraged the Army to investigate all options for facility solutions. The committee encourages the Army to pursue the solutions that best address the priorities the Army has identified and that are the most fiscally prudent from a life cycle standpoint. Therefore, the committee directs the Army to complete its review of all options under consideration and provide a report to the committee not later than September 30, 2011, on its preferred solution set. The report shall contain, at a minimum, the following:
1. The Army’s requirements and priorities with respect to storing these artifacts;
2. Identification of various solution sets and a business case analysis for each course of action, as well as identifying any legal or regulatory barriers for the different options;
3. Estimates for the life cycle cost to the government for each option;
4. The expected cost and implications of not providing appropriate storage locations for the artifacts;
5. The Army’s recommendation for the appropriate option at each installation;
6. Any necessary legislative changes necessary to dispose of any artifacts that are not deemed to be of national historic significance; and
7. Delineation and listing of all artifacts to be stored, with special emphasis on those that are to be used for training and in what context, and those that merely have historical value as an artifact.

"With respect to the Army’s preferred option for each of the three installations, the committee notes that it does not and will not support the use of any appropriated funds being used to build or support a public museum."
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the_shadock
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:52 am
Post subject: Re: Army Museum artifacts for "training" vs "historical valu

just a note : it is good to read this, because it shows that the Senate is preoccupated by the fate of these historical artifacts.

P-O

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TrevorLarkum
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 1:35 pm
Post subject: Re: Army Museum artifacts for "training" vs "historical value"?

Maybe we should set up an AFVNDG warehouse in the US to take any 'spare' vehicles that the Army doesn't want...

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Neil_Baumgardner
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 2:38 pm
Post subject: Re: Army Museum artifacts for "training" vs "historical value"?

Don, Bob, Garry,
Any comments?
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bsmart
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 6:06 pm
Post subject: Re: Army Museum artifacts for "training" vs "historical value"?

My fear is that anything supplied to a private museum will end up at a 'Museum' like the VMMV or the one in Florida that bought the collection from Hubbard OH.

Yes there are some good collections but most are the projects of individuals and subject to the vagries of life. Good intentions run up against tough budgets, wills and probate, divorce and even fraud. Maybe I am glad the Czech T35 went home instead of staying at the Ordinance Museum

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Neil_Baumgardner
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 6:52 pm
Post subject: Re: Army Museum artifacts for "training" vs "historical value"?

Bob,
The report seems (or at least tries) to distinguish amongst three different types of artifacts:
1) Those "not deemed to be of national historic significance" - these items could well be given away to various museums like you said.
2) Those of "national historic significance" - these items would remain Army property, but would be displayed at co-located (or nearby) museums - akin to the old Patton Museum, and to a lesser degree the Ordnance Museum.
3) Those "to be used for training" - these items would be stored at publicly-funded storage facility, for use by soldiers.

I suspect the artifacts falling under #1 will be relatively few - or at least that's what I can only hope the Army will say.

My primary curiousity/concern regards #2 & #3 - I dont see the distinction.

For those that worked & volunteered at the old museums, I am curious if you saw any practical distinction between artifacts that were used to train soldiers and "historical" artifacts displayed merely for public benefit. Seems to me soldiers are/were trained on the same historical items... But I could be wrong...

Neil

I believe the intent would still be to have a privately funded "museum" co-located (or nearby) the publicly-funded
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Roy_A_Lingle
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 5:06 am
Post subject: Re: Army Museum artifacts for "training" vs "historical value"?

Hi Folks!

My bet is when it's done and over with, all of the artifacts will be left out in the rain.

There is NO difference between #2 and #3.

The last time I was at the Ft Bliss museum, a Capt and a 1st Sgt came by. They were from a NG Air Defense unit. They were going to bring they unit by for a look at the Air Defense items still at the museum. Training is walking around a item and looking at it. Hopefully someone knows some history about it and can tell the troops. Next day, a family stops by and walks around the same item. Both the troops and the family do the same thing. They look and learn.

I somehow get the feeling that some one is thinking the troops get on or in an item and do something with it.

My 2 cents.
Sgt, Scouts out!

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Dontos
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 6:29 am
Post subject: Re: Army Museum artifacts for "training" vs "historical value"?

Neil

The only thing I can offer is the personal view point that the 'training tool' excuse has been far over-used by Army Officials.

A few soldiers going thru the museum once a month is not viable training experience but an excuse for a day away from the normal routine.

Is there any sort of training plan? (NO!)
"Task, Conditions, & Standards" (NO!)
Pre or post training testing ? (NO!)

These are (or at least were) minimum requirements for a basic training session.

Oh yeah, a bunch of young "LTs" climbing on old tanks after having their 'threat' class was always fun to babysit. They tended to do more harm to subject vehicles than any sort of beneficial training value. This is why we colocated all the Soviet/Russian vehicles together. Those were realistically the only vehicles that gave them any sort of training value.

The greatest casualty to this whole episode? The general public, veterans, and their families. And then there is the volunteers.

Volunteers spend (or have spent) Thousands of man hours to preserve or restore vehicles (utilizing private &/or personal funds) for public display & exhibitions that draw thousands of interested veterans, families, and enthusists.

The greatest success of the Ft Knox Armor Museum (ie old Patton Museum), was the ability of seeing, touching, smelling, and hearing Armor History. That is now gone for the most part and the ability of experiencing history in such a manner is now only possible through private collection museums.

a few items to consider....
What is Historical property? technically anything is....(no clear answer there!)

'Publically Funded Storage Facility" is a government built garage. A building that houses equipment. (There seems to be no interest in preservation or historical presentation.)

Sadly, the future seems to be bleak for any sort of "World Class Armor Museum" BRAC 05 destroyed an institution its history. Its too late to get any of that back, and there is no interest or funding for a future institution. THAT is the crime of this whole episode.

Of course this is merely my personal opinion.... Sorry for the ranting, I'll shut up now...

Regards
Don
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bsmart
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 2:47 pm
Post subject: Re: Army Museum artifacts for "training" vs "historical value"?

Okay now that I vented

I can see someone deciding that anything from the late cold war is to be kept as a 'training aid' "So we can show the troops the weak spots, strengths, how to defend against it, etc". Fiberglass models would be about as useful (and a whole lot cheaper to maintain) if you just want to show the troops what a Panther or a Tiger looked like and how it compared to a Sherman or Stuart. And do Ordnance troops today even need to know that? They are only interested in recovering repairing and maintaining tanks. It took over 10 years for the Recovery Branch of the Ordnance school to move the Elefant one mile! (And eventually it was accomplished in the manner I suggested nine years ago - You embarrass the leaders - I suggested a bar bet with the senior NCOs, it was done by the Base Commander in a staff meeting to the OIC of the recovery Branch)

Another example - I used to make a point to groups about how bad the interleaved roadwheels of the Panther were for maintenance. A training aid set up with interleaved wheels that you could actually have trainees swap out the inside center wheel will make as much impression as showing them and telling them how unmaintanable they were compared to the spaced wheels of a T-34 or T-72 or a VVSS unit of a Sherman.

The older vehicles were more of professional interest to the designers and engineers who were developing the next generation by looking at how previous developers solved problems. But those folks aren't at Ft Lee or Benning so what training purpose do the vehicles serve there?

Their purpose is in building esprit, keeping the public enthused, having trophies to show off. And that isn't done by locking them away in a training area where only professionals who have already made a commitment can see them. They serve a major purpose by being down the center of the main road into the base where a 9 year old can be driven by them and think WOW and be in a place where a grandfather can bring his grand children and tell them 'that is what I did in the great war' Or where a group of Cub Scouts can walk around them and look at the gouges where rounds bounced off while a docent tells the story of a last ditch fruitless defense

A few will be deemed 'of national historic significance' (and probably for all the wrong reasons) Things like Patton's command truck, Cobra King (hopefully) Some M1 Combat car that they have a picture of Patton or Rose or someone else famous in Maybe some of the one of a kinds from the 20s and 30s. A few Shermans, Maybe some M-48s painted up like they were in Vietnam. You know as well as I do they have very few records on the vehicles at Aberdeen to be able to tell much about specific vehicles and what their 'significance is' The Tiger I (if it ever comes back) and the JagdTiger that we have photographic evidence of when and where it was captured may be some of the best documented. Will they keep the two Ordnance Museum Panthers side by side so someone can show the improvements made between early and late production? I doubt it.

Then there will be a lot put on the block for units or bases to request as monuments. Then they will start accepting requests from museums, probably based on who knows which Senator. Some will hopefully be well cared for and made available for some folks to see. Others will end up as trophies or playtoys for fatcats to show off to their friends and pat themselves on the back about how they are 'saving history'

The intellectual midgets that we have making these decisions in DC only think of what they can do to embarrass members of the other party and blame the previous administration for all the problems They want a 'feel good' sound bite that they will forget before the next reporter talks to them

I guess I just vented again

In actuality the 'training tool' excuse has always just been politically correct lip service used to justify the keeping of trophies. Everyone knew why they were being kept, they were being kept to show off to family and friends, Show the Taxpayer what their sacrifices (back in the big war) were for and be a center of pride for the organization. Well someone is now enforcing 'the letter of the law'. This is the 21st century version of the WWII and Korean war scrap drives

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Neil_Baumgardner
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 5:28 pm
Post subject: Re: Army Museum artifacts for "training" vs "historical value"?

Interesting feedback. I suppose my hope is that the Army will say that most (if not almost all) artifacts have national historic value, but are not needed for direct soldier training per see... Setting them up for display at museums co-located at Benning, Lee and Sill.

My fear is that the collections will end up slit between the privately-funded museum and the publicly-funded storage facilities - with the latter (ironically) not accessible by the public.

BTW, I am told there is one particular well-known Senator that is firmly opposed to using public funds for public access (ie museums). The same Senator that rails against pork barrel spending on a regular basis...
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ShermanWasRight
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:07 pm
Post subject: Re: Army Museum artifacts for "training" vs "historical valu

I find the disdain for private museums here interesting, as it's quite the opposite of what I've seen among warbird enthusiasts-they love the "free market approach."

Of course, I agree with the opinion here; "preserving" history in someone's garage/hangar that the public only sees 5 days a year is next to worthless. Unfortunately I don't really know that I can offer any real solutions to the problem-it's hard even for me as someone who loves history to think that these vehicles could be used for training modern soldiers in any real fashion.

^^^^the storage facilites being off limits for "security reasons," of course, like the numerous gateguards at airbases across the country Rolling Eyes . The freaking Iranian planespotters have better access to their air force than I do, based on what I see on airliners.net. If I asked the USAF for permission to take pictures of their birds at, say, Rickenbacker, the chances are good they'd tell me about all the security/OPSEC risks before they then said no.
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Neil_Baumgardner
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 8:06 am
Post subject: Re: Army Museum artifacts for "training" vs "historical value"?

Keep in mind that you can go to an airshow once (or a few times) a year to see privately restored warbirds, and you can also go almost any day a year to an aviation museum.

That balance has been upset for the AFV world in the US. You can still go to the open houses to see privately restored vehicles, but the two largest AFV museum collections are now in storage.

It would be akin to having the Air & Space Museum and USAF Museum collections in storage at the same time due to impending - and as yet uncertain and unfunded - moves.
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Doug_Kibbey
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 11:00 am
Post subject: Re: Army Museum artifacts for "training" vs "historical valu

And keep in mind that while the country groans under crushing debt and the DoD creaks under indecipherable accounting practices, we're "saving money" by moving an entire branch (or two) of the army at considerable expense, yet "closing" nothing under BRAC in the move. To say nothing of leaving behind an essentially empty and amortized museum that was well suited to it's task while it's key displays are left to rot out of public view for who-knows-how long?

A new museum (if, in fact, one is ever started, let alone completed) will cost many millions. I predict we will not see such a facility for at least ten years...and I'm skeptical that it will ever happen.
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Dontos
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 12:44 pm
Post subject: Re: Army Museum artifacts for "training" vs "historical value"?

....and to think some 'Brain Surgeon' decided that moving the Armor Center from Ft Knox (that has well developed training ranges and additional available 'unused' land) to Ft Benning (that had to expand to include currently unusable land for armor training...and now may have to export personnel to locations to conduct actual basic & advanced armor training...!?) due to the fact it was 'cheaper'!? WTF!!

I got to quit commenting, this is getting my elevated blood pressure even higher !! (Wheres my B.P. pills !!)

Oh well, such is life
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Doug_Kibbey
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:02 pm
Post subject: Re: Army Museum artifacts for "training" vs "historical value"?

- Dontos
....and to think some 'Brain Surgeon' decided that moving the Armor Center from Ft Knox (that has well developed training ranges and additional available 'unused' land) to Ft Benning (that had to expand to include currently unusable land for armor training...and now may have to export personnel to locations to conduct actual basic & advanced armor training...!?) due to the fact it was 'cheaper'!? WTF!!

Don


The ultimate irony will be when they starting sending people TDY from Benning to Knox to conduct training on facilities that Benning doesn't have.
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