PIMA AIR & SPACE MUSEUM, DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE AND THE 309TH AMARG OFFER THE FIRST EVER SATURDAY “BONEYARD” GUIDED TOUR FOR “WORKING” TUCSONANS!
Tucson—Aug. 22, 2013 Pima Air & Space Museum, who operates the often-sold-out docent-guided bus tours of the “Boneyard”/309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group/309 AMARG on the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, announced the first ever Saturday tours for Sat., Aug. 31st created specifically to show support for working Tucsonans.
The 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group or 309 AMARG, commonly referred to as the “Boneyard,” operates to sustain U.S. and allied warfighters. Instituted in April 1946, immediately after WW II, AMARG has grown to become the storage, regeneration and “recycling” center for all U.S. military branches’ aircraft, federal agencies including NASA. The group, located on the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, currently has more than 4,000 airplanes on a 2,600-acre (or 4-square-mile) facility. Five elements make up their overall mission; those elements include:
• aircraft reactivation (also called “regeneration”) – meaning returning aircraft to flying status.
• aircraft overhaul – or limited depot-level maintenance,
• aircraft storage, perhaps the most visible mission,
• aircraft parts reclamation, and
• aircraft disposal.
Having a closer “inside-the-fence” view of the vast array (for comparison, more planes in one location than exist on the entire continent of Australia) has always been in high demand. In 1999 D-M in conjunction with AMARG awarded operation of tours to the Pima Air & Space Museum. These tours run during normal business hours: Monday through Friday, not including Federal Holidays. However, normal business hours are when many Tucsonans work.
Thanks to the coordination of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, AMARG and the museum, with volunteer airmen manning the security gates, on “Labor Saturday” –the Saturday of the Labor Day Weekend¬¬–Pima Air & Space Museum is offering docent-guided air-conditioned-bus tours of the “Boneyard.” Prices will be:
• special savings ($5) for Pima County residents (Aug. 31 only)
• $7 for non-Pima-County adults
• $4 children ages 8-12
(the tour is not recommended for children age 7 & under).
Admission to Pima Air & Space Museum, recently reduced to only $12.25 for Pima County residents, is not required however telephone reservations are (call 520 574-4762), in addition to the regular security procedures for entering a U.S. Air Force Base:
• government-issued photo identification (such as a driver’s license, military ID or passport) is required for all persons 16 years of age and older.
• check in a minimum of one hour before the start of the tour.
• the Air Force prohibits the carrying of firearms, weapons, illegal substances, backpacks, camera cases, and other non-essential items on the AMARG tour. Carry-on items may include a small camera without the case, and a small purse or fanny/belt pack. All items will be visually inspected before boarding the bus.
• the bus will stop for photo ops on base however everyone will remain on the bus and all photos taken through the windows.
The tours, to be offered at 10am, 11:30am, 1:30pm and 3pm, take approximately 90 minutes. Walk-up tickets will be available on a very limited basis beginning when the museum opens at 9am.
This event was designed to thank the local Tucson community for their support and for embracing the “Boneyard” as a local icon for more than 67 years. It is hoped that this outreach opens the door for many hard-working neighbors to take advantage of a rare opportunity to view the broad range of aircraft and items of interest the Aerospace Regeneration and Maintenance Group workforce maintains, and experience firsthand this nation’s past and present airpower display.
“We are delighted to offer this frequently-requested tour on a Saturday,” stated Yvonne Morris, Executive Director of the Arizona Aerospace Foundation that operates the Pima Air & Space Museum, “and truly appreciate the extra effort to make this community-event happen by everyone at Davis-Monthan, 309 AMARG, the airmen, our staff and volunteers.”
ABOUT 309 AMARG
309 AMARG is a modern, high-tech industrial facility providing a broad range of aircraft and aerospace vehicle support services to the U.S government and foreign allies. Services include aircraft and aerospace vehicle storage, parts reclamation, regeneration (restoration to flight capability), limited aircraft depot level maintenance) and aircraft disposal. AMARG’s primary mission or role is to provide maintenance and asset regeneration for sustainment of the warfighter.
ABOUT PIMA AIR & SPACE MUSEUM
Be wowed at Pima Air & Space Museum, one of the largest aviation museums in the world and the largest non-government-funded in the U.S. (TripAdvisor ranks it in the Top 10% worldwide for excellent ratings.) Its significant collection, 300 strong from around the globe, covers commercial, military and civil aviation alongside more than 125,000+ artifacts, including a moon rock donated by Tucsonan and Astronaut Frank Borman. Be amazed by many all-time great aircraft: the SR-71 Blackbird (the world’s fastest spy plane); a B-29 Superfortress (the WWII bomber that flew higher, farther and faster plus carried more bombs); the world’s smallest bi-plane; the C-54 (the Berlin Airlift’s star flown by the famous “Candy Bomber” Col. USAF (Ret.) Gail Halvorsen, a Tucson-area winter resident); plus planes used as renowned-contemporary-artists’ canvases, including Brazilian graffiti artist Nunca. Explore five large hangars totaling more than 177,000 indoor square feet—almost four football fields¬—of air/space craft, heroes’ stories and scientific phenomena. Two+ hangars are dedicated to WWII, one each to the European and Pacific theaters. Pima Air & Space maintains its own aircraft restoration center. It also operates exclusive tours of the “Boneyard,” aka the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (309 AMARG) on Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, plus offers a docent-led tram tour of its 80 acres (additional fees apply). Pima Air & Space Museum is located at 6000 E. Valencia Rd., just off I-10 exit 267, in Tucson. More information can be found at www.pimaair.org, on Facebook, or by calling 520 574-0462.
Note: The 390th Bombardment Group (Heavy) Memorial Museum is closed for reconstruction until further notice.
• PASMSatAMARGtourRADIOpsa = :60 radio PSA
• PASMAMARGtourCBentleyKHollett.jpg = Pima Air & Space Museum docents Christina Bentley and Ken Hollett checking ID and inspecting “Boneyard” bus tour passengers’ small carry-ons as they board
• PASM_AMARG_C-130column = Cargo planes/C-130s at AMARG as seen on the tour
• PASM_AMARG_F-16noses = Line up of fighter planes noses/F-16s at AMARG as seen on the tour
• PASM_AMARG_F_16Rows = Rows of F-16 fighter planes as seen on the tour
Pima Air & Space Museum docents Christina Bentley and Ken Hollett checking ID and inspecting “Boneyard” bus tour passengers’ small carry-ons as they board. Photo by mee.
Cargo planes/C-130s at AMARG as seen on the tour. Photo by John Saunders.
Line up of fighter planes noses/F-16s at AMARG as seen on the tour