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Speaking for myself, I am totally in favor of troops bringing "Loot" home from war zones. Not grenades and nonsense but uniform stuff, semi auto fire arms, scopes, etc etc. Not a darn thing wrong with it .

From Iraq and Afghanistan, my favorite loot was bringing back...intact...my ten fingers & toes. I'm good with that but
its a sad loss I could not bring back my SVD or Lend Lease marked 1911a1 or my broom handle Mauser or my.....etc etc.
Damn... the inhumanity of it all !
 

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Sir, Not sure if you knew SGM Gary Toombs, who when he retired went to work as the armorer for the 2nd BN, 75th Rangers. He made 15 deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, blown up once, slightly wounded another time. He was not a happy camper when he could not bring home weapons from Iraq, not for himself, but to keep in the BN Arms Room, so the troops could train on them before deployment. Seemed like a logical thing to me, but someone higher in the Chain of Command said no way. All I brought home from my brief time in Kandahar was a manual for a Russian radio, in a green plastic binder. The actual radio, was on the ground just outside the hanger we lived in, but in an area, that had not been swept for IAD's or Bobby traps, so it may still be laying there, as I was not going to walking into that area. John
 

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There most certainly has been a change in “officer culture” since the 1990s… my understanding is that there did not used to be an issue for the most part getting weaponry signed off on a DA 603-1 War Trophy form and bringing it home. I know of papered bring backs from Grenada IIRC.

Here is the guidance from CENTCOM from the GWOT period war trophies. Note that weaponry is specifically prohibited. This is purely a military regulation, not US law.


What I’d like to know is when the ATF form 6 started to be used, as my understanding was that for some period a DA 603-1 signed by a military commander actually sufficed in place of an ATF form 6 or whatever paperwork was used to import firearms.

I had two pre 1899 C96 mausers in Afghanistan that were legit “capture” items (not bought in the bazaar on Chicken Road or on Bagram) but my commander wouldn't sign off on the paperwork for them as war trophies so I wasn’t able to retain them to bring home. I know many others who did bring back 19th century firearms so I presume their commanders were more accommodating.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
There most certainly has been a change in “officer culture” since the 1990s… my understanding is that there did not used to be an issue for the most part getting weaponry signed off on a DA 603-1 War Trophy form and bringing it home. I know of papered bring backs from Grenada IIRC.

Here is the guidance from CENTCOM from the GWOT period war trophies. Note that weaponry is specifically prohibited. This is purely a military regulation, not US law.


What I’d like to know is when the ATF form 6 started to be used, as my understanding was that for some period a DA 603-1 signed by a military commander actually sufficed in place of an ATF form 6 or whatever paperwork was used to import firearms.

I had two pre 1899 C96 mausers in Afghanistan that were legit “capture” items (not bought in the bazaar on Chicken Road or on Bagram) but my commander wouldn't sign off on the paperwork for them as war trophies so I wasn’t able to retain them to bring home. I know many others who did bring back 19th century firearms so I presume their commanders were more accommodating.
Sorry you weren't able to get your C96 mausers back - that sucks! I would say though that unfortunately, risk averse units and leaders are nothing new. Just to be accurate, I would point out that the document you linked to is an "info paper" and is "interim guidance" that appears to only apply to Iraq. I would guess that it was the guidance for the 4th ID when they deployed to Iraq in 2010-11.

I was a member of SOTF-North during 2010-2011 and we were on Camp Speicher colocated with the 4th ID. They were a notoriously risk adverse unit, and made the conduct of any type of offensive operation extremely difficult. As I recall, if one of their Soldiers even fired their weapon in combat, it would immediately trigger a 15-6 investigation. Not surprising that they would have such a restrictive policy.
 

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Am I alone in thinking that this thread seems austere without photos of some Gulf War bringbacks?

Here's a pair of Iraqi binoculars and a helmet that were brought back from Desert Storm in 1991:















I went a bit overboard buying Iraqi militaria in the early to mid '90s and have quite a few helmets, uniforms, and bits and pieces of gear. If anyone want to see more just say so. That's assuming of course that the OP doesn't mind me cluttering up his thread.
Thanks for sharing the pictures. It reminded me of when I was a child I dreamed of having binoculars. And my father purchased me one at a swap meet. Those also were old ones.
 

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Thanks for sharing the pictures. It reminded me of when I was a child I dreamed of having binoculars. And my father purchased me one at a swap meet. Those also were old ones.
;)👍
 

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In the 2nd Gulf War, OIF I, those folks under those orders were subject to General Order #1, No firearms, firearms parts or related ordnance could not be brought back as trophy items. I have seen folks trying to smuggle AKs and receivers back through the US Mail from Iraq even after telling them that Everything will be x-rayed! I seen a Company and first sergeant arrested in their TOC, a major arrested for trying to smuggle a AK receiver home. The military did relaxed the requirement to ship two AK bayonets home, one in the CONEX container and one in our carrying on luggage. Uniform items, optics, rados if cleared by the technical intelligence folks, could be shipped home. I even shipped home a front grill to an Iraqi Jeep, the postal folks thought I was shipping a whole Jeep piece by piece. LOL. One officer shipped home piece of Russian T-34 track.
 
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