Thursday, January 15, 2015

Davis Monthan and the Boneyard

This is our fourth winter spending time at the Agave Gulch Fam (short for "family") Camp at Davis Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson. The base is just five miles from downtown Tucson.

Per the base web site, Davis Monthan's mission is to " Deploy, employ, support, and sustain attack airpower in support of Combatant Commanders anywhere in the world at a moment's notice. Train the finest attack pilots for the Combat Air Forces. Provide every member of Team D-M with responsive, tailored, mission-focused base support.”  

I'm not too familiar with fighter jets (correction: I know almost nothing about fighter jets) but Davis Monthan trains pilots and crews of A-10, OA-10 and EC-130 plane.  It's also the home of an air show demonstration team that must have been here last weekend because there were jets flying in formation.

And, Davis Monthan is home of the largest storage center for excess military aircraft in the world; it's called AMARG or Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group.  But everyone refers to it as the "boneyard"  and it's right next to the Fam Camp. I took the boneyard photos below through a chain link fence a couple hundred yards from our rig.
The boneyard is home to over 4,000 planes lined up in military precision on 2,600 acres of desert at Davis Monthan Air Force Base. The dry climate is good for aircraft storage and preservation.  
Many of the plane tails have two letters on them like the ones above.  Jim thought maybe these were national guard planes from various states --- then we saw one with "LX" on the tail.  So maybe not. White protective coverings seal all openings and keep out dust, sand and debris.
Our camp site at Davis Monthan's Agave Gulch Fam Camp, which  has 192 spots.  When we purchased our rig used from a California couple, they said "Take the contents, too." The lawn chairs and picnic table cover to the right were theirs and we're still using the towels and some of the utensils they gave us. 

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