Christiaan Triebert @trbrtc Visual Investigations @nytimes. Used to roam the world for @bellingcat. Monitoring things, mostly niche. Retired hitchhiker. @quiztime. Usual caveats. Jul. 02, 2019 1 min read

President @realDonaldTrump said that there will be a display of U.S. military tanks during the Independence Day in Washington, D.C. A tank parade? Here's a short thread with some monitoring efforts.

The photos circulating in relation to the story are coming from @AP's Patrick Semansky and VICE's @ElizLanders are from the same location. It shows six military vehicles on a single flat car on a rail yard in southeastern edge of DC. Geolocation:  https://www.google.com/maps/place/38%C2%B052'53.5%22N+76%C2%B057'56.9%22W/@38.881521,-76.9663392,206m/data=!3m2!1e3!4b1!4m14!1m7!3m6!1s0x0:0x0!2zMzjCsDUyJzU0LjMiTiA3NsKwNTcnNTYuOCJX!3b1!8m2!3d38.881742!4d-76.96579!3m5!1s0x0:0x0!7e2!8m2!3d38.8815206!4d-76.965792 .

The text “DODX 40142” on @ElizLanders' photo of the flat car indicates that it is owned by the @DeptofDefense; spotters have been photographing it more than once:  http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/rspicture.aspx?id=32198 .

The six military vehicles appear to be:

2 x M1-A1 Abrams Main Battle Tank (that's a tank)
1 x M88A2 Recovery Vehicle (that's not a tank)
1 x HMMWV (that's not a tank)
2 x M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle (that's not a tank)

(HT @JmeDubya)

Correction: earlier on, I wrote a *single* flat car. It are actually *three* flat cars, but the same combination of flat cars that was photographed.

It seems that the military vehicles entered DC on Sunday, when a CSX 1776 train with 3 flat cars (DODX 40340, DODX 40465, and DODX 1018 — not sure about the last one) were spotted by @Margare71941278 near Union Station. HT @john_marquee.

The locomotives seen in the video (two of CSX's General Electric ES44AHs) were recently repainted to commemorate the “Spirit of our First Responders” (No. 911) and “Spirit of our Armed Forces” (No. 1776).  https://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/2019/04/30-csx-releases-veterans-first-responders-commemorative-units 

Some background reading by @shearm, @Tmgneff, @johnismay. “Top military officials have expressed deep concern about letting the armed forces be used by the president to advance a political agenda, and earlier resisted his efforts for a military parade”.  https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/01/us/politics/trump-tanks-july-4th.html 

At around 2:05PM EDT on June 30, the military train cargo with 6 military vehicles (2x M1-A2 SEP, 2x M2A3, 1x HMMWV, 1x M88A2) passed through Ashland, VA, and was spotted by @virtual_railfan. HT @WJHirschi.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oyYnjW3Vjxw 


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