The Davis-Monthan Air Force Base is one of a kind and certainly a wonder to behold. It is a US Air Force base 5 miles southeast of downtown Tucson, Arizona, and is famous for its massive aircraft boneyard for storing American military aircraft. The Davis-Monthan Air Force Base is the destination for all American excess military and aerospace craft.
Tuscon is an interesting city, and there is plenty to keep one busy if coming to visit for the weekend. Incorporate the Air Force Base and museum into one's trip to Tuscon and one will have a very memorable time here. Another American (but top secret) base that we all wish we knew more of is the famed Area 51 - home to those crashed little green men.
About The Davis-Monthan Air Force Base
As the sole aircraft boneyard for excess military aircraft is full of thousands of military airplanes of every sort imaginable. It also stores other aerospace vehicles like ballistic missiles.
- 4,000: Number of Military Aircraft Parked on the Base
Tuscon's dry climate and alkali soil make it an ideal location to store and preserve unused aircraft.
The 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG) is responsible for reserving these excess aircraft was established in 1946. It occupies some 2,600 acres and houses every kind of American military aircraft one can think of. To name a few that one can see:
- B-52 Stratofortress Bombers
- F-16 Fighting Falcons
- A-10 Warthogs
- C-130 Hercules
- C-5 Galaxy
- B-1B Lancers
The boneyard has the following official categories for how it stores the aircraft:
- Type 1000: Long Term Storage, Maintained Until Recalled into Active Service, They Have a High Potential to Return To Flying Status And No Parts Are Removed
- Type 2000: Aircraft Available for Part As "Aircraft Storage Bins" To Keep Other Aircraft Flying
- Type 3000: "Flying Hold" Kept to Near Flyable Condition - In Temporary Storage Awaiting sale To Another Country or Transfer to Another Unit
- Type 4000: Excess Of Needs And Have Been Gutted And Every Usable Part Has Been Reclaimed. To Be Scrapped
It is the foremost facility for the maintenance, salvage, and storage of military aircraft in the world.
This is a very active site and not an abandoned site that one may be tempered to sneak into. It is very much guarded by armed security and airforce personal.
Davis-Month Air Force Base Tour
The Davis-Month Air Force Base offers a tour of their air force base (but not the neighboring boneyard.
The 355th Wing offers group tours with the aim of educating people about the US Air Force and its missions. They do not accommodate individuals or non-organized groups. But they do try to accommodate specific requests to visit a particular unit or learn about certain missions.
These tours are only provided to organized groups like civic organizations, schools, businesses, and reunion groups.
- Organized Groups Only: No Private Tours
- Limit: Tours Are Limited to a Minimum of 20 People and a Max of 45 (or the Capability of One Commercial Bus)
- When: Tours Are Only Offered On Weekdays
- Duration: Tours Are Max 4 Hours
- Age Limit: Only 18 And Over (ID Is Required)
- Dining: There are Dining Options On The Bace Like Mirage Club andEagle's Nest Snack Bar & Grill
Pima Air & Space Museum & Former Boneyard Tours
On-site is the impressive Pima Air & Space Museum. It offers some very impressive Air Force exhibits and until recently offered exclusive bus tours of the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center (AMARG) - aka the 'boneyard'. It is located adjacent to the Museum at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.
Admission to the museum itself includes access to the Main Hangar (3 hangars combined into 1: Hangar 1, Spirit of Freedom, & Flight Central), three World War II Hangars, the 390th Memorial Museum (a separate museum on our grounds), a collection of 400+ aircraft and 125,000+ artifacts, and more.
They offer a 45 minute Tram tour through the museum's 80 acres on a 1.5-mile circuit that views over 150 airplanes in their collection. The Tram Tours are narrated by experienced and friendly guides that explain the various highlights of the collections.
Narration may include the plane’s significance, and often times share their personal stories of service with many of the aircraft on display.
- Museum Admission: Adult (Age 13+) $18.50 - 1 Day or $24.00 2 Days
The Air Force 309th section of the base includes the massive boneyard. Unfortunately, they no longer provide tours of the 'Boneyard'. They did offer visitors for nearly 23 years but now tours are canceled. Perhaps they will offer them once again in the future. They recommend those interested in learning more about the Boneyard to visit their Facebook page.