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Navy and Marine Corps McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II fighters in storage at AMARG. The 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (309th AMARG),Official 309th AMRG Renaming Ceremony
.
often called The Boneyard, is a
United States Air Force The United States Air Force (USAF) is the Atmosphere of Earth, air military branch, service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the eight uniformed services of the United States, U.S. uniformed services. Initially formed as ...
aircraft and missile storage and maintenance facility in
Tucson Tucson (; es, Tucsón; O'odham: ''Cuk-Ṣon''; Navajo The Navajo (; English: Navaho; nv, Diné or ') are a Native American people of the Southwestern United States. At more than 300,000 enrolled tribal members , the Navajo Nation is t ...
, Arizona, located on Davis–Monthan Air Force Base. The 309th AMARG was previously Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center, and the Military Aircraft Storage and Disposition Center, and its predecessor was established after World War II as the 3040th Aircraft Storage Group. The 309th AMARG takes care of nearly 4,000 aircraft, which makes it the largest aircraft storage and preservation facility in the world. An
Air Force Materiel Command Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC) is a major command ( MAJCOM) of the United States Air Force (USAF). AFMC was created on July 1, 1992, through the amalgamation of the former Air Force Logistics Command (AFLC) and the former Air Force Systems Com ...

Air Force Materiel Command
unit, the group is under the command of the Ogden Air Logistics Complex at
Hill Air Force Base Hill Air Force Base is a major U.S. Air Force base located in northern Utah Utah ( , ) is a state in the Mountain West region of the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. o ...
, Utah. The 309th AMARG was originally meant to store excess Department of Defense and
Coast Guard A coast guard or coastguard is a maritime security organization of a particular country. The term embraces wide range of responsibilities in different countries, from being a heavily armed military force with customs and security duties to ...
aircraft, but has in recent years been designated the sole repository of out-of-service aircraft from all branches of the US government. The facility has received US made foreign military aircraft: Boeing CC-137 (from
RCAF , image = Royal Canadian Air Force Badge.svg , image_size = 250px , caption = Badge of the Royal Air Force#Related badges, Badge of the Royal Canadian Air Force , start_date ...
for use in Joint Stars E-8 program), Lockheed CP-140 (from RCAF). The arid climate of the region makes the 309th AMARG an ideal location for storing aircraft, as there is very little humidity in the air that would corrode metal. Further, the surface is hard so that the aircraft do not sink into the ground.


History

The first predecessor of the 309th AMARG was established in 1946 as the 4105th Army Air Forces Base Unit (Aircraft Storage) to house Boeing B-29 Superfortress and Douglas C-47 Skytrain aircraft. Davis–Monthan Field was chosen because of
Tucson Tucson (; es, Tucsón; O'odham: ''Cuk-Ṣon''; Navajo The Navajo (; English: Navaho; nv, Diné or ') are a Native American people of the Southwestern United States. At more than 300,000 enrolled tribal members , the Navajo Nation is t ...
's low humidity, infrequent rainfall, alkaline soil and high altitude of , reducing rust and corrosion. The hard soil makes it possible to move aircraft around without having to pave the storage areas. In 1948, after the Air Force's creation as a separate service, the unit was renamed the 3040th Aircraft Storage Depot. In 1965, the Military Aircraft Storage and Disposition Center was organized and tasked with processing aircraft for all the United States armed forces, not just the Air Force. The United States Navy, Navy had operated its own boneyard at Naval Air Station Litchfield Park at Goodyear, Arizona, Goodyear, Arizona, for Navy, United States Marine Corps, Marine Corps and
Coast Guard A coast guard or coastguard is a maritime security organization of a particular country. The term embraces wide range of responsibilities in different countries, from being a heavily armed military force with customs and security duties to ...
aircraft. In February 1965, some 500 aircraft were moved from Litchfield Park to Davis–Monthan. NAS Litchfield Park was finally closed in 1968. In the 1980s, the center began processing intercontinental ballistic missiles for dismantling or reuse in satellite launches, and was renamed the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center (AMARC) to reflect the expanded focus on all aerospace assets. In the 1990s, in accordance with the START I treaty, the center was tasked with eliminating 365 Boeing B-52 Stratofortress bombers. The progress of this task was to be verified by Russia via satellite and first-person inspection at the facility. Initially, the B-52s were chopped into pieces with a 13,000 pound guillotine winched by a steel cable supported by a crane. Later on, the tool of choice became K-12 rescue saws. This more precise technique afforded AMARC with salvageable spare parts. In May 2007, the AMARC was transferred to the 309th Maintenance Wing, and the center was renamed the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG).


Lineage

* Constituted on 7 October 1964 as The Military Aircraft Storage and Disposition Center ** Activated on 1 February 1965 ** Redesignated Aerospace Maintenance & Regeneration Center on 1 October 1985 ** Redesignated 309th Aerospace Maintenance & Regeneration Group on 2 May 2007


Predecessors

; 3040th Aircraft Storage Squadron * Designated as the 4105th Army Air Forces Base Unit (Aircraft Storage) and organized on 15 November 1945 ** Redesignated 4105th Air Force Base Unit (Aircraft Storage) on 26 September 1947 ** Redesignated 3040th Aircraft Storage Depot on 28 August 1948 ** Redesignated 3040th Aircraft Storage Squadron ** Discontinued on 1 June 1956''See'' Mueller, p. 103 (listing units at Davis–Monthan AFB) ; Arizona Aircraft Storage Squadron * Designated as the Arizona Aircraft Storage Squadron and organized on 1 June 1956 ** Discontinued on 1 August 1959 ; 2704th Air Force Aircraft Storage and Disposition Group * Designated as the 2704th Air Force Aircraft Storage and Disposition Group and organized on 1 August 1959 ** Discontinued on 1 February 1965


Assignments

* Air Force Logistics Command, 7 October 1964 * Air Force Materiel Command, 1 July 1992 * 309th Maintenance Wing, 2 May 2007 (attached to Ogden Air Logistics Complex after 12 July 2012) * Ogden Air Logistics Complex, 1 October 2012 – present


Storage procedures

There are four categories of storage for aircraft at AMARG: * Long Term (Type 1000) – Aircraft are kept intact for future use * Parts Reclamation (Type 2000) – Aircraft are kept, cannibalization (parts), picked apart and used for spare parts * Flying Hold (Type 3000) – Aircraft are kept intact for shorter stays than Long Term * Excess of United States Department of Defense, DoD needs (Type 4000) – Aircraft are sold off whole or in parts AMARG employs 700 people (approximately 500 DoD civil servants, and 200 contractors).309 AMARG Public Affairs The facility is adjacent to the Davis–Monthan Air Force Base, base. On average, AMARG annually returns approximately $500 million worth of spare parts to military, government and allied customers. Congressional oversight determines what equipment may be sold to which customer. An aircraft going into storage undergoes the following treatments: * Ejection seat charges and classified hardware are removed. * All aircraft are carefully washed with fresh water to remove environment residue and then allowed to dry. * The fuel system is protected by draining it, refilling it with lightweight oil, running engines to coat fuel system plumbing and engines, and then draining it again. This leaves a protective oil film. * The aircraft is sealed from dust, sunlight, and high temperatures. This is done using a variety of materials, including a high tech vinyl plastic compound that is sprayed on the aircraft. This compound is called ''Spraylat'' after its producer the Spraylat Corporation, and is applied in two coats, a black coat that seals the aircraft and a white coat that reflects the sun and helps to keep internal temperatures low. The plane is then towed by a tug to its designated "storage" position. On average the Group annually receives 300 aircraft for storage and processes out about the same number (with 50 to 100 of those returning to flying service). Aircraft that fly again either return to the U.S. Military services, U.S. government agencies (such as the United States Coast Guard, U.S. Coast Guard, United States Forest Service, U.S. Forest Service, and NASA) or are sold to allied governments under the Foreign Military Sales program.


Accessibility

AMARG is a controlled-access site, and is off-limits to anyone not employed there without the proper clearance. The only access for non-cleared individuals is via a bus tour which is conducted by the nearby Pima Air & Space Museum. Bus tours are on Monday to Friday. From April 2013 onwards the base has also hosted an annual 10K/5K run/walk which is open to the general public.


Use in film and TV production

AMARG has been a site of filming for scenes in several films and television productions, despite the security of AMARG and the base in general. The most recent and notable of these is ''Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen''. The exterior scenes of the Smithsonian set were actually filmed in the Boneyard. 309 AMARG was featured in an episode of TNT (U.S. TV network), TNT's ''The Great Escape (U.S. TV series), The Great Escape''.


See also

* Pinal Airpark


References


Notes


Bibliography

*


Further reading

* ''Boneyard Almanac: The History and Current State of America's Largest Aircraft Collection'' * ''Ladies in Waiting: A Pictorial Review of Davis–Monthan AFB''


External links


AMARG at Davis–Monthan AFB
Official Site
AMARC Experience – An unofficial history and information site

The Boneyard: world's 'biggest' plane cemetery up close
Satellite views {{DEFAULTSORT:309th Aerospace Maintenance And Regeneration Group Groups of the United States Air Force Military units and formations in Arizona Organizations based in Tucson, Arizona