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Whether you served with them, read about them, saw them in popular films, or drove them in video games, you’ve probably had some exposure to the HMMWV or “Humvee.” After all, the brute has been the workhorse of the American military since the Soviet Union was the biggest threat on the board. However, the military is selling many Humvees as it replaces them with the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV).  

As the U.S. Military adopts the JLTV and other purpose-specific tactical vehicles, many Humvees are up for sale

It’s true, you can find High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs) or “Humvees” on government surplus auction sites. That’s not unheard of; when HMMWVs reach the end of their service life, they often head to auction. However, Humvees are now facing replacement. The culprit? The new Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV). It’s a combat compromise between the HMMWV and the M-ATV. 

What’s more, the United States Government has a history of selling or transferring HMMWVs to other countries. Between 2012 and 2018, 23 countries requested over 16,000 HMMWVs, according to The National Interest. The U.S. obliged, but only to the tune of around 3,812 units. 

However, it’s not all melancholy music and pensive introspection for the military’s once-great workhorse. Depending on the operational capacity, the Humvee simply won’t perform as well as more modern alternatives. For instance, U.S. Marines, Army Rangers, and other light infantry forces will have better luck with Ultra Light Tactical Vehicles (ULTVs) and other light, modular, often helicopter-transported military trucks in specific high-speed operations. 

JLTVs, the replacement for the HMMWV (Humvee) on an LCAC.
Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTV) are pictured onboard a Landing Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC) | Jonathan Nackstrand, AFP via Getty Images

Furthermore, in conventional warfare, armor is one of the only securities servicemembers can rely on. Fortunately, the JLTV provides better protection than the military’s Humvees. Even then, it’s a stretch. Modern infantry-use high-explosive (HE) weapons in use by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army and the Russian Military will make short work of many armored vehicle types.

There is a silver lining, though. U.S. Marine Corps Officer turned Wisconsin Representative Mike Gallagher claims the “The JLTV combines the protection of the MRAP, which was so critical in Iraq and Afghanistan, with the agility of a Humvee,” per CNBC. That’s good news for warfighting troops like soldiers and marines preparing for the next conflict.