report by : Thierry LETELLIER
Often called ‘ The Boneyard ‘, is a USAF aircraft and missile storage and maintenance facility in the city of Tucson, Arizona, located on the territory of Davis-Monthan Air force Base. AMARG was previously Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center, AMARC, the Military Aircraft Storage and Disposal Center, MASDC, and started life after World War II as the 3040th Aircraft Storage Group.
AMARG was established in 1946 as the 4105th Army Air Force Unit to house transport aircraft. Davis-Monthan Air Force Base was chosen because of the Tucson low rate of humidity, infrequent rainfall, alkaline soil and high altitude of 2,550 feet (780 m), reducing rust and corrosion.The hard soil makes it possible to move aircraft around without having to pave the storage areas.
AMARG takes care of more than 4,400 aircraft, which makes it the largest aircraft storage and preservation facility in the world. AMARG was originally meant to store excess Department of Defence and Air Force Materiel Command aircraft, but has in recent years been designated the sole repository of out-of-service aircraft from all branches of the US government.
In the 1990s, in accordance with the START I treaty, the center was tasked with eliminating 365 B-52 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 ‘ by a steel cable, supported by a crane. Later on, the tool of choice became K-12 rescue saws. This more precise technique afforded AMARG with salvageable spare parts.
Our Thanks goes to the AMARG Staff for this very instructive visit.
Technical information source : USAF