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National Guard shows off wrecker to McNary

By Addison DuLong and Tay Chavin, Photo by Camryn Fineran
December 11, 2023

   On Monday, Nov. 27, 2023, Chief James Rockwell, a Warrant Officer for the Oregon National Guard, brought in the Wrecker M987A4 HEMTT for McNary High School Know Your Car students in Mr.Thiel’s seventh period. Rockwell said that this vehicle was used for towing and recovery of deployed vehicles that have been damaged.

    This vehicle weighed 52,000 pounds, Rockwell said. It takes about two days to do maintenance and it costs $2.5 million dollars yet it’s only been deployed twice, according to Rockwell. The Wrecker is a CONUS vehicle meaning it stays in the U.S and will never be deployed elsewhere. The vehicles apart of the CONUS group are separate to all military vehicles and stored at different locations.

    Sophomore Kody Little is a student in the Know Your Car class at McNary and said, “It was bigger than I thought it would be.”

“ [It] left me curious why so many jacks on it?” Included in the Military personnel at McNary Monday afternoon was Cpl. Wyatt Wampler gave the information that the vehicle was brought to McNary High School for reference of what the military vehicles look like in the field, and what to job looks like once you go into the field.

    The training needed to drive the Wrecker is  just an Army test license given by a high ranked officer. Its advanced structure included two steering boxes and a crane that can lift 15,00 pounds collapsed and 7,000 pounds extended. The Wreckers top speed is 62 MPH. 

    The vehicle was only at McNary for one day but it was surely a day full of new information for the know your car students of Mr.Thiel’s class. Our journalism students took a short trip to the know your car class on Monday and took pictures and gathered the information they needed for a class assignment.

 Students on the second story of McNary’s Diesel bay windows saw something unusual on Monday Nov 27: a piece of military machinery used for towing and recovery with military vehicles. It is used for training purposes.

 It is CONUS, a shorter version of “Continental United States”. That means it cannot be deployed 


Some representatives from the Oregon National Guard came to Mr. Tristan Theil’s classes to show the machine and talk about the National Guard. 

Chief Warrant Officer James Rockwell said the machine weighs 52,000 lbs, costs $2.5 million to get and has a maximum speed of 62 MPH. 

Rockwell is a federal technician and said, “it takes 40 hours to service this”.


   Sgt. Jason Scott, a recruiter for McNary, came with Rockwell in the machine and was the main host for Mr. Theil’s classes in which he presented the benefits and knowledge of the National Guard.      

An overall benefit of seeing this machinery is being able to see the pieces of equipment you may deal with if you join a branch in the military later in life. In this case, it'd be the Oregon National Guard.  

Some personal benefits include 100% paid tuition for a majority of colleges in Oregon, home loans, insurance and more.