Here at Warbirds News we have been tossing around the idea of adding a section dedicated to the “The Boneyard”, known more officially as the 309th Aerospace Maintenance And Regeneration Group (AMARG) at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tuscon, Arizona. We have decided that although AMARG hosts many current aircraft types, it does have a unique fascination to aviation enthusiasts and more importantly it hosts several warbirds. So starting today we will run a monthly column called “Ghosts of the Boneyard”.
AMARG’s official mission is to “provide aerospace maintenance and asset regeneration to our customers for the sustainment of the warfighter.” Essentially, they store aircraft in an arid climate, preserving them for potential re-use, or as a source of parts for aircraft still in active service. They also scrap the aircraft when there is no longer any need for them. As reported on the AMARG’s official website, “Immediately after World War II, the Army’s San Antonio Air Technical Service Command established a storage facility for B-29 and C-47 aircraft at Davis-Monthan AFB. Today, this facility is the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (309 AMARG), which has grown to include more than 4,400 aircraft and 13 aerospace vehicles from the Air Force, Navy-Marine Corps, Army, Coast Guard, and several federal agencies including NASA.”
The latest arrival at AMARG is a C-9B, Bureau No. 160047. It came from VMR-1, MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina on February 3rd, 2014. The McDonnell Douglas C-9 is actually a military version of the McDonnell Douglas DC-9 airliner. It was produced as the C-9A Nightingale for the United States Air Force, and the C-9B Skytrain II for the U.S. Naval Reserve and Marine Corps. The C-9A Nightingale made its final active-duty flight in September 2005.