“The Boneyard,” as it is often called, was created in 1946 to store some surplus military planes….but eventually grew to become the storage area for all out-of-service U.S. government aircraft.
Today it contains over 4,200 aircraft….including bombers like the B-52 Stratofortresses pictured above….fighters like the F-15 Eagle and F-14 Tomcat….huge military transport planes like the C-5 Galaxy….helicopters….and unique prototypes that never made it into active service.
Some aircraft are stored for possible reuse, metal reclamation, and others to be stripped for spare parts. A small percentage are merely stored at the base between active-duty deployments….but for more than 80 percent of the thousands of aircraft that call it home, it’s a cemetery of steel….with 350,000 part and pieces to be called on when needed.
The entire 2,600 acre (1,052 hectares) site from a satellite photo.
The desert climate in Tucson is friendly to aircraft….with hard alkaline soil for them to move around on, low humidity and low rainfall. In fact the facility is so good at what it does that for every $1 the US government spends operating the facility, it saves or produces $11.
was proud to show Tucson’s civic leaders some of its air power October
9, 2015, at the Barry M. Goldwater Range. Note: Pictured during a flyby
is A-10C 78-0652 from the 357th Fighter Squadron “Dragons”, 355th
Fighter Wing (ACC), Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona. (U.S. Air Force photo)
Lt. Col. Matt Jensen of the 182 FS walks to his F-16 Fighting Falcon for the exercise Coronet Cactus, designed to provide a realistic deployment experience for F-16 student pilots at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona, on April 8, 2014. (USAF/SSgt Johnathan Snyder)
BTW: Pictured here are A-10s during Hawgsmoke 2004.
Original caption: To foster closer cooperation between Warthog units and sharpen their Close Air Support (CAS) skills the third biennial ‘Hawgsmoke’ competition was hosted by the 47th FS ‘Dogpatchers’ in central Louisiana at the former England Air Force Base - now known as Alexandria International Airport – England Airpark - between April 29 and May 2 2004. No less than eighteen four-man teams made the effort to attend, representing all but one of the A-10 units based worldwide. The only absentee was the 355th Fighter Squadron from Eielson AFB Alaska, who were forward deployed in support of real-world operations. LtCol. James ‘Jimbo’ Macaulay, 47th Fighter Squadron Director of Operations, and the Hawgsmoke 2004 project officer summed up his aims for the competition: “Hawgsmoke is an intense flying competition and a opportunity to share in the camaraderie and legacy of the world’s premier Close Air Support fighter.” This was to be a grand southern flavoured 'Hawg Festival’.
The final F-4 Phantom II taxis at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona, on April 17, 2013. The Phantom traveled to BAE Systems to be converted to a target drone and was then delivered to Tyndall AFB, Florida. (Photo)
Bomber and fighter aircraft training wrapping up in Utah - An A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft from Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona, prepares to land May 4 at Hill AFB, Utah. Hill AFB and the Utah Test and Training Range are hosting fighter and bomber aircraft performing critical combat training and weapons testing through May 14. (U.S. Air Force photo by Paul Holcomb)
147th ASOS completes first full mission profile with Czech FACS - Tactical air control party members with the 147th Air Support Operations Squadron, 147th Reconnaissance Wing, pose as a 357th Fighter Squadron A-10C Warthog from Davis Monthan AFB, Arizona, flies overhead April 12, 2016. The battlefield airmen traveled to the desert range in Gila Bend for a weeklong simulated deployment with their Czech partners. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by 1st Lt. Alicia Lacy)
U.S. Air Force Capt. Kelly Nettleblad (third from left) of the 354th Fighter Squadron “Bulldogs”, 355th Fighter Wing (ACC), Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona, Capt. Rachel Winiecki (left) and 1st Lt. Jessica Wyble (right), both of them also A-10C pilots of the 354th FS, and A-10C pilot 1st Lt. Katherine Conrad (second from left) of the 107th Fighter Squadron “Red Devils”, 127th Wing (Michigan ANG), Selfridge ANGB, pose in front of an A-10C at D-M May 5, 2014, just after Capt. Nettleblad’s final flight as part of the 354th FS. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Cheyenne Morigeau)
An A-10C Thunderbolt II from the 917th Fighter Group at Barksdale Air Force Base, La. joins the 355th Fighter Wing at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., April 9, 2013. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Betty R. Chevalier/released)