Using FOIA to get truck info

JonM934

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OK, here are step by step instructions on how to get the Marines to give you information on your truck FOR FREE.

You will need your VIN, hood serial number, and photo of the driver's door inside showing the VIN and serial number.

Go to this URL:
https://www.foiaonline.gov

Then Create an Account

Login

Click on “Submit a request”

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Select the “Department of the Navy” option, then from the first dropdown select "Marine Corps", and from the second dropdown select the command, “Marine Corps Logistics Command”.

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Leave the request type “FOIA”.

The next section will contain all the info from your account. You typed it in when you set up your account so it should all be correct.

Processing fees. I put $200 but you can put whatever you wish. On the request I made they do not charge anything. I would gladly pay $200 if they sent me all their records but they send just some summary things.

Description:

“Hello, I would like the maintenance and deployment records for a USMC vehicle I purchased. It is an Oshkosh MK23, VIN 10TDMWE353S0xxxxx and the Marine serial number is 594xxx.”

I put x’s in for this example but when you send in the request it should be your actual numbers.

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When I submitted my request for my first truck, a lawyer with the USMC sent me an email and said that she wanted clarification of the serial number. She wanted a photo. I think she just wanted to be sure I owned the truck and was not wasting their time. So now, I get a photo of the hood (or inside the driver’s door) that shows the serial number and I upload that. The serial number is 6 digits long and start with “59”.

Then click “review” and then “submit”.

Within a few minutes, you will get a confirmation email from FIOA with a subject like “FOIA Request DON-USMC-2020-00xxxx”.

Then just sit back and relax. It will take a couple of weeks. My information came in a 9 by 12 manilla envelope by certified mail.

It will take some detective work on your part to figure it all out when it arrives but HEY it was free.
 

JonM934

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Nice work Jon. What came in the envelope?
MAdams,

I received about 12 pages of stuff but there were only two that really mattered. They are below. The Limited Technical Inspection form is not shown in its entirety because I am just showing it as a sample of what you might get. One the shipping document, I checked the From and To codes (circled in Red) and found out that my truck was shipped from Camp Fuji Japan to Yermo.

FOIAanswer1.JPG

FOIAanswer2.JPG

The codes like (b)(4) and (b)(6) mean the text was obfuscated due to privacy or security reasons.
 

JonM934

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You can't beat free. Would that documentation have an entry if the engine has been overheated?
I don't remember what the form says exactly for each entry. When I got my documents back from the FOIA I could not read the preprinted text very well. So I printed the blank form off and then I copied from their form what they had entered. When I was done, then I could finally understand it.

The form is Navmc 10284. I found it on the internet. I printed some extras for my own use later when I go through the PM on the truck.

I suggest you look at the form on the internet and see what it says about the engine. I don't think that there is a check box for overheated.

The form I received from my FOIA has a few notes at the bottom from the mechanic. That was useful. Maybe your form will have some notes too.

Sent from my SM-G988U1 using Tapatalk
 

JW7tonWY

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Just got my FOIA response today, I sent in my request July 5, 2020, for a vehicle purchased June 10 2020. After a couple of months I spoke to the person who was sending monthly updates via email. I was informed the the "agency" that had my vehicle was not responding to requests for documentation and that she was very frustrated with them. 9 months later I received an email today with the following paragraph:

"Following a thorough search of Marine Corps Systems Command records we have been unable to locate any records responsive to your request as this vehicle has been removed from USMC inventory."

Followed by instructions for appeals and no fees are charged.

My vehicle has "alternative headlights" and additional wiring that was cut in many places that was not part of the truck's systems. The headlights have replicable bulbs with screw in o-ring sealed access ports for both the Halogen and IR bulbs, housing is cast aluminum. I have found many .50 casing and some shrapnel in places as well as at least on bullet hole in the hood. I removed the extra wiring and it is some pretty neat stuff with gold plated connectors and so on, not planning on posting pictures of it, as I do work in I.T. it is definitely high bandwidth style cabling.

Makes me wonder. I do wished I could get my hands on the vision systems that use the particular frequency of IR in these lights, my civilian stuff just barely picks it up, and judging by the heat radiated there is more energy delivered then my little camera can see.
 

Guyfang

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None of you should complain about how long it took. I did a FOIA on the A12 and SR-71. It took about a year, and I had given up hope. But was it worth the wait!!

Also keep in mind. When you do a FOIA, it aint free. They open up a file on you too. I talked to a "Military Security Specialist" here in Graf, and she told me its S.O.P. They just want to know, why you want to know.
 

JW7tonWY

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None of you should complain about how long it took. I did a FOIA on the A12 and SR-71. It took about a year, and I had given up hope. But was it worth the wait!!

Also keep in mind. When you do a FOIA, it aint free. They open up a file on you too. I talked to a "Military Security Specialist" here in Graf, and she told me its S.O.P. They just want to know, why you want to know.
The Waiting was not an issue, the lack of any info is the issue. basically they are telling me they got rid of it and deleted the records. They can open a file on me all the want, there is not much to be known about me and none of it bad, truly a waist of resources.
 

Mullaney

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The Waiting was not an issue, the lack of any info is the issue. basically they are telling me they got rid of it and deleted the records. They can open a file on me all the want, there is not much to be known about me and none of it bad, truly a waist of resources.
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I wouldn't swear to it, but considering the basic information that you gave:

- Bullet hole in the hood
- Brass in the cabin
- Serious lack of other information

It is possible that something bad happened to the occupants of that vehicle.

Rather than force a family to go through the pain again - just guessing - there
may have been a decision made for that incident to not be made public.

Could have been a court decision that made the information become "hidden".
Especially to a person asking for general vehicle (history) information...


.
 

SandBar

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Can this method be used to get information on my Army M51A2 from 1953? If so, any changes to the selections during the process? Thank you
 

JW7tonWY

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I wouldn't swear to it, but considering the basic information that you gave:

- Bullet hole in the hood
- Brass in the cabin
- Serious lack of other information

It is possible that something bad happened to the occupants of that vehicle.

Rather than force a family to go through the pain again - just guessing - there
may have been a decision made for that incident to not be made public.

Could have been a court decision that made the information become "hidden".
Especially to a person asking for general vehicle (history) information...


.
I have not found and biological wastes (as side from sweat marks) in the vehicle the seats were filthy and I was worried when I started (one dark stain) but no blood or other substances were extracted from the soft surfaces in the cab (dark stain cleaned up like grease). The pattern of marks on the hood and finding the shell casing inside the frame rails aft of the cab indicate it may have been in proximity to a blast and subsequent fire fight. Marks in the hood stop where the armor would have been. The bed and sides are bunged up good but functional while I don't have a full set of upper supports and sides I do have the cover with a tear in it L shaped maybe 4-5 x 4-5 inches in size.

I agree it probably was someplace it should not have been doing something it that can't be admitted, given the remaining special equipment. Would be nice if there was a code word, you know like here are some generic records and not much else is known i.e. service date purchased, removed from service date, Major maintenance needed or not needed, can't tell you anymore kind of thing.
 

Guyfang

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Why would anyone want to keep records of something that has been gotten rid of? Try this. You buy a new car. Keep it 30 years. Then sell it, so you can buy a new car. Several years later, someone who now owns your car calls and wants you to provide them information on your car. Do you keep everything that pertains to cars you sell? Bet not. Why would you. The Gov is the same. AND they do keep an astounding amount of info, on an astounding amount of things.

The only files I ever turned in with stuff going to the bone yard, or to DRMO, was the basic log book forms. Those forms provided serial numbers, and dates of acceptance into the Military service. AND the Turn In 2404 worksheet. 99.99% of all log book forms have been lost and remade so often, that its a stroke of luck if you have anything even close to real.

Many times I found equipment that had zero records. NOTHING. What do you do? Look for a ser. # and data plates, IF you can find them. But often there simply are gone. Whats next, call the command that takes care of said equipment. How do they "fix" the problem? The owning unit makes a log book up, creates a "new" serial # and you order a new data plate and stamp your B.S. serial number on it. So don't expect much when you ask for info.
 

bikeman

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Guyfang, I'd agree, but then I was pulling info for trucks that had been surplused out decades prior when I still had access to that system. Now, it wasn't complete records, just last unit of assignment usually. But it was interesting how much I could find.

JW, no clue on the USMC, but it surprises me slightly. Also surprises me that they allowed a vehicle to go out with dunnage (ammo residue) in it.

Even if it was the subject of an investigation, I would *assume* that the crime scene techs would have bagged and tagged anything like that.

Sounds like someone either needed to get rid of it quick, or a few someone's just didn't do their job.
 

Mullaney

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I tried this for my MTVR and my Growler. Both came back with the same response, “that’s not our equipment (anymore) and we don’t keep records for things we don’t control.”
Most recent attached.
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We must be missing something... I could swear that I have seen posts here saying folks had requested history on retired military vehicles. Maybe your letter to them has to say that you were requesting information on a "retired" vehicle. Maybe that way they dig through a different database?

If I can locate something I will pass it on.
 
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