York-made BAE vehicle welcome to retirement home in York, Pa.

How could the York Daily Record/Sunday News support making a permanent home for a Renegade?
Our 9/11 editorial published today urged that the Hercules recovery vehicle that pulled down Saddam’s statue be returned here after it is retired, assuming, heaven forbid, it doesn’t fall prey to enemy action in battle.
The vehicle, tagged Renegade in Iraq, was made at West Manchester Township’s BAE Systems and returned to York County recently for refurbishing… .


We have plenty of garage space in York County even for this massive vehicle. It’s a product of the county that will be pictured in history and textbooks 50 years from now.
Why not seek its return to York County some day?
The full editorial follows:

York County became reacquainted with Renegade, its most prominent contribution to the war in Iraq last week.
West Manchester Township’s BAE Systems unveiled the refurbished M88A2 Hercules recovery vehicle that toppled the statue of Saddam Hussein about three years ago.
The news media around the world captured the muscular Renegade in action, and the images instantly became icons.
The Bair Station-built machine gained the name “Renegade” from Armed Forces members for its yeoman service in Iraq. When it’s not pulling down statues, the recovery unit is used to tow heavy combat vehicles.
In ceremonies connected with the Renegade’s repairs, Marine Lt. Col. John D. Swift included BAE employees as part of his branch of the military.
Renegade and other such BAE-made vehicles are regularly in harm’s way.
“So when you’re on the line and the torque wrench is going, that’s the sound of freedom,” he said. “What you do today is going to make a difference tomorrow in Iraq or wherever the Marine Corps is deployed.”
……….
In this post-9/11 world — a world whose calendar began five years ago today — the Marine Corps is certain to see constant action.
Renegade is a visible sign of the not-always-visible efforts of thousands of military men and women engaged in Middle East fighting, peacekeeping and in pursuit of the man who catalyzed the 9/11 terrorist attack — Osama bin Laden. And scores of those hail from York County.
Setting aside our political views just for a moment, today marks an apt occasion for remembering the victims of terrorism and those in our world’s hot spots who are in the fight.
……….
Renegade is returning to action, and we give our hearty best wishes to its crew.
No doubt the vehicle, if it dodges heavy fire and is retired from action, will be in demand as a museum piece.
High profile military museums will seek it.
But just to get York County in line early, the Marine Corps should consider returning Renegade to its birthplace as a permanent retirement home.
The York County Heritage Trust would even seem to have appropriate garage space for Renegade in its hall of giants or transportation gallery at its Industrial and Agricultural Museum.
The county shouldn’t even be selfish about it. We would wish it well if it regularly goes on the road, as a traveling icon in the fight for freedom.
……….
No doubt Renegade represents a different symbol to some. It might represent needless American intervention in a place where we had no business.
The fact is that America is in Iraq. Finishing the job must be the goal.
Renegade is being redeployed to help us do just that — and protect our fighters.
“Thank you for making a hell of a machine,” Navy Petty Officer Jason Rose told BAE employees last week.
“It kept me alive.”
We applaud our military men and women who are on duty today for their efforts in keeping us all alive.

Also of interest: Jeep prototype has York County WWII roots and Check out this 1950 photo of BAE predecessor and York County’s BAE links BMY and Bofors and battered vehicles in Bair..

About Jim McClure

Editor of the York Daily Record/Sunday News, ydr.com and its many digital products. East Region Editor, Digital First Media. Journalism/history blogger: yorktownsquare.com. Author or co-author of seven York County, Pa., history books.
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