The U.S. Department of Defense has been buying ATVs (as well as motorcycles) for American troops in Afghanistan since 2004. U.S. SOCOM (Special Operations Command) was initially the main user but soon many non-SOCOM infantry came to depend on these lightweight vehicles. Regular army units got the ATVs mostly for hauling gear around remote outposts. ATVs could be flown in slung under a helicopter. The ATVs were often used to collect air dropped supplies that, because of the often unpredictable winds, fell far from the base.