Air Force

June 28, 2012

D-M’s ‘Bone Yard’ more than just storage for military aircraft

Tags:
David S. Ricker
Staff Writer

The maintenance crew with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group works on rebuilding a C-130 here Dec. 9, 2011. The C-130 was completely gutted and sent to AMARG where the crew is working to rebuild the plane with new plane with new parts.

The 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group, known as the “Bone Yard,” is the resting place for retired military aircraft and the reusable parts that keep the military aviation branches flying.

Since the end of World War II, the Department of Defense has utilized 2,600 acres on the east side of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base to store more than 4,400 aircraft and 13 aerospace vehicles from the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, Army, Coast Guard, and other federal agencies including NASA.

“We are the executive agent on behalf of the Department of Defense for the storage, reclamation and preservation of aircraft,” said Col. Patrick T. Kumashiro, commander of the 309 AMARG. “Those environmental conditions are ideal for our long term storage of aircraft.”

It’s estimated that the aircraft stored at The Boneyard have an original purchase price of more than $35 billion. “Over a period of time we will reclaim parts from those aircraft and put those parts back into the DOD supply chain,” Kumashiro said.

Rory “Buzz” Busby is working to refurbish a tail wing assembly from an F-4 Phantom being readied for use as a target drone.

Kumashiro suggested that the aircraft stored at 309 AMARG provide the military unique savings that allows military units throughout the world to withdraw parts and aircraft. “Every year, we reclaim about a half-billion dollars worth of parts,” he said. “The taxpayers get a tremendous return on their investment with the reclamation of these parts.”

Kumashiro said the 309 AMARG staff members are dedicated and very good at their jobs. “Our folks have come out on holidays, when the weather is miserable because they know how important that part is,” he said. “Four thousand of those parts have directly contributed to flying aircraft. That aircraft couldn’t fly without our part.”

Of course, finding a special part needed for the military supply chain can be a chore. “We don’t have this huge database that says this is where you find it,” Kumashiro explained. “Sometimes we have to go from aircraft to aircraft.”

Kumashiro pointed out that in some cases, the parts that are reclaimed from aircraft are no longer being manufactured. “All of the services fly legacy aircraft for 40-plus years, so those suppliers no longer exist,” he said. “We are relying on AMARG as a source of supply.”

In the coming year, some F-16 Fighting Falcons will be regenerated and set up as unmanned target drones. There are T-37s and C-130s also being regenerated for export. “We have a very robust foreign military sales program,” Kumashiro said. “We have the ability to regenerate aircraft that are stored here for foreign military sales, for our own military services. In fact, you will see F-4s that are flying today. They have been retired for well over 20 years and after we regenerate those there is a contractor that installs a software package that allows those jets to be flown unmanned so they can be used as targets.”

The 309 AMARG also participates in the depot repair overflow program. “In the past, we may not have had the necessary capacity at out depots,” Kumashiro said. “We will take C-130s and A-10s and completely do depot repairs for those aircraft.”

That activity is starting to draw down. “That has been a pretty dynamic mission for us over the last couple of years,” Kumashiro pointed out.

Currently AMARG is supporting an avionics mod for 250 A-10s over the next three years. “It’s very easy to tow those A-10s from the fighter wing over here,” Kumashiro added. “There are tremendous cost savings by doing that.”

There are a number of alumni military associations that are hosted at 309 AMARG each year. “Every aircraft, every tail number has a story,” Kumashiro said.

Kumashiro’s father retired from the Air Force and has a close friend who flew WB-57s. “He hadn’t seen one since 1969. When he came to visit he started to cry,” Kumashiro recalled. “It was pretty neat to see that reaction.”

Maintenance personnel install a new wing on the A-10 assigned to the commander of the 355th Fighter Wing.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
headstones-with-flags-300-dpi

This Memorial Day, honor those who gave all

Courtesy photo   Memorial Day. A long weekend, barbeques, parades, door busting sales at the mall, and the un-official start of summer . . . With all the excitement of warmer weather and fun in the sun that come with Memor...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Drzazgowski)

Memorial Day weekend safety tips

Memorial Day weekend is coming up, for most service members that means getting on the road and traveling for the first long weekend of the summer. During this holiday weekend more people will be traveling, which makes it import...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Drzazgowski)

D-M law enforcement recognizes National Police Week

Law enforcement agencies at Davis-Monthan celebrated National Police Week here during the week of May 11-15. National Police Week focuses on remembering law enforcement officials who have lost their lives in the line of duty. T...
 

 

Final Total Force Training Environmental Assessment released

The final Environmental Assessment for Total Force Training, released here today by Air Combat Command, concludes a “Finding of No Significant Impact.” The Air Force will implement the proposed action alternative which places a cap on Total Force Training (formerly Operation Snowbird) flights at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base at 2,326 annual flights.  Officials state that...
 
 

Commissaries continue rolling out in-store Wi-Fi

FORT LEE, Va. – Sixteen more stores will offer Wi-Fi access for commissary patrons between June and September, according to the Defense Commissary Agency’s follow-up schedule. Through the Commissary Patron Internet Mobile System, DeCA is gradually opening customer Wi-Fi access at all stateside commissaries to include Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. The latest schedule covers the...
 
 

The difference between Memorial and Veterans Day

FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. (AFNS) — There are lots of reminders out there that Memorial Day is about more than a day off or barbecue. It’s also about more than thanking everyone who served or waving flags. The truth is, many people confuse this day with Veterans Day. This day is about one thing...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin