Coming in the gate
This saguaro cactus is one of many on the base. These large cacti grow only in a small area of the southwest, and only in Arizona in the U.S.
We’ve driven around the base and the main feature we noticed is there is no grass in the yards, and very little grass anywhere. It’s all gravel or dirt. We were told that years ago grass was brought to the area and planted in yards, but ongoing drought conditions basically wiped it out. The upside is you don’t have to mow your yard, the downside is it can get real dusty.
There are many solar panel fields around the base that provides much of the electricity for the base. And more are being built.
A distant view of the famcamp as you drive toward it.
Our site, and some views around us.
One of the primary units on this base is the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group. It’s known as the aircraft boneyard. Sprawled around the base are massive fields that contain over 4,400 inactive military aircraft. This location was chosen because of the low humidity and hard, alkaline soil of the desert, which allows the aircraft to be naturally preserved for cannibalization or possible reuse. There are four categories of storage for the planes:
- Long Term – Aircraft are kept intact for future use
- Parts Reclamation – Aircraft are kept, picked apart and used for spare parts
- Flying Hold – Aircraft are kept intact for shorter stays than Long Term
- Excess of DoD needs – Aircraft are sold off whole or in parts
There are airplanes for as far as the eye can see.
We even spotted the fuselage of an old Soviet-era Mig. Where'd that come from?
Here are a couple of aerial photos from Google Maps, showing a small portion of the boneyard.
Needless to say it's quite an awesome sight.
We stayed in today. We watched the NASCAR race from Talladega, and it was strange watching the race at 10am. It was over by the time we would have sat down to watch the start on the east coast. After the race Jim washed the truck and did the laundry at the park laundry room. I started another crochet project and played games. Tomorrow we plan to get out and see some more sights.
See you then.