Photos: Aircraft Boneyard at Davis-Monthan AFB

Photos: Aircraft Boneyard at Davis-Monthan AFB

Credit: Google Tour

Photos: Aircraft Boneyard at Davis-Monthan AFB

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azfamily.com

Posted on September 16, 2011 at 1:02 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 5 at 2:32 AM

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, which is adjacent to the Pima Air & Space Museum, is best known as the boneyard for old military and government airplanes.

"Immediately after World War II, the Army's San Antonio Air Technical Service Command established a storage facility for B-29 and C-47 aircraft at Davis-Monthan AFB," reads the Davis-Monthan AFB website. "Today, this facility is the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (309 AMARG), which has grown to include more than 4,400 aircraft and 13 aerospace vehicles from the Air Force, Navy-Marine Corps, Army, Coast Guard, and several federal agencies including NASA."

309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group History

With an original purchase price of more than $35 billion, this aerospace fleet provides a unique savings account from which military units throughout the world may withdraw parts and aircraft. The government earns additional income by selling aircraft to our allies.

The chief reasons for selecting Davis-Monthan as the site for this storage center were Tucson's meager rainfall, low humidity, and alkaline soil. These conditions make it possible to store aircraft indefinitely with a minimum of deterioration and corrosion. In addition, the soil (called caliche) is hard, making it possible to park aircraft in the desert without constructing concrete or steel parking ramps.

In 1964 the Secretary of Defense directed the consolidation of all military aircraft storage and disposition centers into a single entity located at Davis-Monthan. This facility assumed the name Military Aircraft Storage and Disposition Center or MASDC.

In 1985, the addition of aerospace vehicles (Titan II missiles) as well as the Center's growing capability for restoring aircraft to flying status, prompted another name change to the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center or AMARC. In May, 2007, AMARC aligned as a Group under the 309th Maintenance Wing at Hill AFB, Utah and became the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (309 AMARG).

The 309 AMARG’s mission has evolved beyond merely the storage and preservation of aircraft. Today the Group provides customer services including aircraft regeneration (restoring aircraft to flying status), programmed depot-level maintenance, and parts reclamation, in addition to its historic storage and disposal functions.

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