The 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (309 AMARG) is a one-of-a-kind specialized facility within the Air Force Materiel Command structure. 309 AMARG provides critical aerospace maintenance and regeneration capabilities for Joint and Allied/Coalition warfighters in support of global operations and agile combat support for a wide range of military operations.

309 AMARG History

Following World War II, the Army's San Antonio Air Technical Service Command established a storage facility for B-29 and C-47 aircraft at the then Davis-Monthan Field.  In April 1946, after Davis-Monthan became an element of the Strategic Air Command, the 4105th Army Air Force Base Unit, became a separate tenant facility.  Today, this facility, having undergone a number of name changes, is the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG),  responsible for the storage of nearly 3,200 aircraft and more than 6,300 engines from the five Department of Defense services, U.S. government agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security (Coast Guard, Customs and Border Patrol), NASA, the Department of Agriculture (U.S. Forest Service), the National Science Foundation and the Smithsonian Institute.  AMARG also stores aircraft for allied nations.  Additionally, AMARG maintains nearly 280,000 line-items of aircraft production special tooling and special test equipment.


The primary reasons for selecting the Tucson area for this storage center were low humidity and alkaline soil. These conditions make it possible to store aircraft indefinitely with a minimum of deterioration and corrosion. In addition, the soil (called caliche) is extremely hard, making it possible to park even the heaviest aircraft on the desert floor without constructing concrete or steel parking ramps.


This facility is a key force multiplier for the Department of Defense and continues to allow the United States to rapidly adjust to the global environment, national security threats and fiscal realities.  As America’s National Airpower Reservoir, AMARG has played a major role in historic post-WWII milestones including the Berlin Airlift, the Korean war, the Cuban missile crisis, the Vietnam War, Operation Desert Storm, Bosnia/Kosovo, Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom, and the global war on terror.


When the former Soviet Union closed road, rail, and canal traffic into the city of Berlin in 1948, approximately one fourth of the stored C-47 cargo aircraft were withdrawn from storage and returned to flying service in support of the Berlin Airlift. 


During the 1950s, aircraft parts reclamation and foreign military aircraft sales became an important part of the mission--supporting allied interoperability and relieving an excess of still-valuable surplus aircraft.   In the early 1950s, AMARG withdrew and regenerated several hundred B-29s to support bombing missions in North Korea, as well as more than 80 B-29s to provide the United Kingdom with an interim long-range strike capability between the Avro Lincoln bomber of WWII and arrival of the all-jet English Electric “Canberra” (U.S. Martin B-57). 


In late 1963, the Secretary of Defense directed the consolidation of all military aircraft storage and disposition centers into a single entity located at Davis-Monthan. This facility became the Military Aircraft Storage and Disposition Center (MASDC) in February 1965.  Approximately 800 Navy aircraft were transferred from the Navy Storage Depot at Litchfield Park near Phoenix at this time.


During the 1970’s, following the U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam, the storage facility reached its all-time high total of 6,080 aircraft in storage.  In 1977, a new mission was added with the commencement of a program to withdraw from storage aircraft destined to become full-scale aerial targets (un-manned drone aircraft).  Nearly 1,100 aircraft (F-102 Delta Dagger, F-100 Super Sabre, F-106 Delta Dart, F-4 Phantom II and F-16 Fighting Falcon) have been processed for drone conversion in the forty-seven years since program began.


In 1985, recognition of the facility’s expanding mission, which now also included limited depot-level maintenance, storage of production tooling, together with other non-aviation assets, prompted the name change to Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center (AMARC).


In 1991 AMARC oversaw the both the elimination of the last 443 ground-launched cruise missiles as part of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, along with the elimination of 314 B-52 bomber aircraft begun under the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START).


In May 2007, the facility was renamed the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG), aligning under the Ogden Air Logistics Complex at Hill AFB, Utah.  This change provided AMARG with the ability to have reach-back capability for support activities as well as a group and squadron structure more traditional to the Air Force.  


With an original acquisition price of more than $34 billion, the aircraft stored at this 2,600-acre repository, America’s National Airpower Reservoir, provide a unique savings account from which military units throughout the world may withdraw parts and aircraft.  For example, in fiscal year 2023, AMARG reclaimed nearly 7,000 aircraft parts enabling the warfighter to project combat airpower at a cost avoidance of more than one-third of billion dollars. 


Today AMARG continues to strive for agility, innovation, and growth by delivering excellent, safe, and compliant maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO), logistics, storage, and support services to our customers.  In addition to aircraft preservation and storage, AMARG’s capabilities include aircraft regeneration or restoring aircraft to flying status for the U.S. Armed Forces, Government Agencies, and allied foreign military forces; parts reclamation and aircraft disposal preparation, in addition to depot-level maintenance as an adjunct to the Air Force Sustainment Center’s three Air Logistics Complexes, truly America’s National Airpower Reservoir.



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