Air National Guard Computers Find Life after Service in the Classroom

  • Published
  • By 2nd LT Jeremy J. McClure
  • 185th ARW Public Affairs
SIOUX CITY, Iowa - There are few jobs that no longer require a computer anymore. The 185th Air Refueling Wing (ARW) is no exception. With hundreds of computers, monitors, printers, and other computer equipment, there is a never ending challenge to keep everything up to date.

But, as new equipment comes in, what happens to the old computers? Thanks to a program that started in the 1990's, much of it is finding its way into classrooms.

Computers for Learning is a program that makes used military computer equipment available to schools and other qualifying nonprofit agencies for educational purposes. The equipment is free of charge after completing a registration process and a letter requesting equipment.

"I have given over 90 computers away this year," said Senior Master Sgt. Robert Battles with the 185th Communications Flight. "Since the program started, we have gotten hundreds of computers to schools."

Normally, computers and peripheral equipment would be sent to the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Disposition Services to be disposed of. "Old equipment could be palletized and sold or crushed and sold as scrap computer equipment," explained Senior Master Sergeant Battles.

"In this economy, there is no sense in not getting these assets to people who can use them as opposed to letting go to waste," said Colonel Brian Miller, Commander of the 185th Air Refueling Wing.

"The computers are not state-of-the-art, but they are in good shape and are good systems," Senior Master Sergeant Battles said. "We are required to remove the hard drives so the organization that receives them will have to replace those but with 160 gigabit drives costing about $40, it is not a bad deal. We also have given out 15 inch monitors, printers, and scanners."

Organizations interested in participating in Computers for Learning must register with the DLA and also submit a letter requesting equipment to Senior Master Sergeant Battles. The organization will also be responsible for picking up the equipment from the base.

For more information on who qualifies to participate, how to register with DLA, or how the request letter needs to be formatted, please contact Senior Master Sergeant Battles by email at

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