Davis-Monthan AFB

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Last Validated 10-2022
City Tucson, AZ
Position 32°09'59"N 110°52'59"W
Runway(s) 12/30
Elevation 2704 ft


Visiting Davis-Monthan AFB and the resident 309th AMARG (309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group, better known under her former name: AMARC) is a military spotters' dream ánd at the same time his/her nightmare. The resident flying units at Davis-Monthan provide a constant buzz at the airfield, with over 60 Warthogs and 20 Hercules. At AMARC about 3.500 airframes of the US military services are so close by, but probably only 1.500 of them will be identified during a fence-check visit. Still, it is a great place to visit. Nearby are some scrapyards and the excellent Pima Air and Space Museum. Unfortunately their infamous bus tours over the 'Boneyard' have stopped running.


Combined, Davis-Monthan AFB and AMARC use about 7,5 square miles of Arizona soil. East of Kolb Road you will find some of AMARC's storage space, and west of 'Kolb' the airbase itself is located, together with the AMARC processing facilities.
When scanning Davis-Monthan AFB from north to south you'll first see Blackhawks of the 305th RQS (AFRC), then US Customs Citations and Blackhawks, before you get to the massive ramp with dozens of A-10s. After bagging those you will see the 347th RQW C-130s and Blackhawks. At the southernmost ramps the 41st and 43rd ECS' EC-130H aircraft are parked.

Getting There

Davis-Monthan AFB is located in the southeastern corner of the city of Tucson, Arizona, about 5 miles from the city center. Take Interstate 10 to get near the action, for example by taking exit Valencia Road. Be aware, due to recent speed restriction violations (and accidents as a result of these violations) your speed is closely monitored.

Around the Airport

1South Wilmot Road

Moving up and down (depending on the time of day you are there, and the suns position) South Wilmot Road will give you nice views on traffic landing on runway 30.

2East Technical Drive

Traffic landing on runway 12 can be seen, and photographed, from the East Technical Drive. You get here, from spot 1, by taking Valencia Road, joining I-10, continuing on South Alvernon Way and turning left after 2 miles. This will take you about 10 minutes. Be advised, you're in a built up area, traffic may not appear early and people may not feel too happy with your presence there!


The Pima Air and Space Museum. Filled with lots and lots of aircraft, mostly here after a stay at AMARG. Excellent material for a visit, as it is a museum (good excuse for a family trip) and you can still watch the proceedings at Davis-Monthan AFB.

4Scrapyards 1 / Herks

From Valencia Road northwards South Wilmot Road (and after a right turn, East Drexel Road) houses some pretty interesting scrapyards, or 'aviation parts resellers'. These sell parts (up to entire aircraft) to operators all over the world. Don't go in unless you have been cleared to do so by the owner/responsible manager!
If you continue on South Wilmot road you will reach an alternate gate of DMAFB, from here you can see the Hercules ramp.

5Scrapyards 2

On Valencia, coming from Pima take the first right after the airbase (South Craycroft Road). Keep following this road (there's a left, right and left turn ahead). Continue this road, turn right and take first right: East Nebraska Street. At the end of this street you'll find a scrapyard with mostly transport aircraft from C-117 to C-130.


South Kolb Road divides AMARG into two parts. It is possible to walk along the fence, reading off and photographing the aircraft near the fences. Same goes for the AMARG sections near Escalante and Irvington. Great hunting, but make sure you bring enough water and sunblock. Keep a sharp lookout for local six and eight legged animals, they do sting when stumbled upon! Also, the many new hangars around the process-in ramps obscure most of the views of that area nowadays.

7Windy point vista

Not visible on the map is Windy point vista. It is 26km to the North-Northeast, as the crow flies. However, it provides a decent overview if you have a strong 'scope. You are at 2.0km/6.600ft elevation. Best when there are no heatwaves, early in the morning. Open 24/7.

8Sentinel park

Sentinel park is a peak some 11km to the Northwest of DMAFB. You have a different angle compared to Windy point. But this one is not open in the early morning yet. It closes at/after sunset so probably better late afternoon on a not-so-hot day...

9Tanque verde ridge trail

This is a ridge about 13km East of AMARG. It is part of the Saguaro park so you will have to buy a week-pass (USD25 by car, that grands you access to various other parks as well.) Besides that, you will have to hike for about 3 km, with 350meters/1000 ft altitude to gain, to reach a decent spot. Also, it opens at 0900, a bit too late for our purposes. Unless it is clouded of course. We have not checked this spot out yet, please share your experience!

Two KC-135s close to the fence. Taken near the junction Escalante/Kolb Rd, just north of spot 6. (Jurgen van Toor)

Taken at spot 1: AFRC Blackhawks also occupy part of the airfield. (Pieter Taris)


118.85 / 253.5Tower
121.8 / 275.8Ground Control and Clearance Delivery

Based Operators

354th FSA-10C
357th FSA-10C
55th RQSHH-60G
79th RQSHC-130J
305th RQSHH-60G
AMARGnumerous stored aircraft
418th TESEC-130H, HC-130J
41st ECSEC-130H
42nd ECSEC-130H
43rd ECSEC-130H
47th FSA-10C (AFRC)
162nd FW, det.1snowbirds (visiting ANG units in the winter)
214th ATKSMQ-9B

More Info

Davis-Monthan AFBThe official site
AMARCThe official US government site for AMARC
Pima Air and Space MuseumThe Pima Air and Space museum with over 100 exhibits. Just south of Davis-Monthan AFB.

Other Airfields

Davis-Monthan AFB  
Luke AFB
Papago AHP  
Phoenix - Mesa Gateway  
Phoenix - Sky Harbor  
Tucson Intl - Morris ANGB  

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