Airmen blog: Maintainers that give a "hoot!"

2014-06-16T00:00:00Z 2014-06-16T00:00:15Z Airmen blog: Maintainers that give a "hoot!"by Frank Berger 576th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Squadron Arizona Daily Star

309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group, at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., more commonly referred to as "The Boneyard", has a lengthy history here in Tucson, Ariz. Since 1946, the facility has performed aircraft storage, parts support and regeneration in support of the warfighter. The nearly 600 employees at AMARG do some pretty remarkable things, but one thing most people aren't aware of, is their capable skill of rescuing owls.

The great horned owl, also known as a hoot owl, cat owl, or winged tiger, has chosen to make its home in the rafters of an open-air maintenance structure at AMARG. The high roof line on what the maintainers refer to as the "shelter," is an ideal place for the owls to nest and call home. For years, since a family of noisy ravens found alternate accommodations, the owls have produced and raised families from their high vantage point above the aircraft maintenance activities.

AMARG is a popular destination for dignitaries and community leaders visiting Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and it's not uncommon for them to be offered an opportunity to walk the entire length of this 906 foot long aircraft nose dock. In addition to viewing ongoing maintenance on the A-10s, and both F-16 and C-130 aircraft regeneration activities, the owls have become an added attraction to those fortunate enough to be afforded a boots-on-the-ground tour.

In April, aircraft mechanics beginning their work day discovered a great horned owl chick timidly sitting on a maintenance stand. It was assumed that the fledgling had fallen out of its nest from the rafters above. Very alert and very aware of the developing human interest in its condition, the baby appeared to be in good health with no obvious signs of trauma. However, at roughly four weeks of age, it was defenseless and unable to return to its nest which rests high in the cross beams 60 feet overhead. With two siblings remaining in the nest, concerned parents watched helplessly.

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About this blog

Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, known as “D-M” to our neighbors, is home to the 355th Fighter Wing, the premier air combat base for all Air Force A-10 C fighter aircraft training. Davis-Monthan is also home to other vital Department of Defense units including 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern), 55th Electronic Combat Group, 563rd Rescue Group and the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group, nicknamed “The Boneyard.”

Davis-Monthan is located within the city limits of Tucson, Ariz., and has been an integral part of the Tucson community since its dedication in 1927. In fiscal year 2012, Davis-Monthan circulated approximately $1.1 billion ($1.6 billion including retirees) into the local community and created 4,687 jobs in Tucson. The more than 10,800 personnel, who are assigned and employed at Davis-Monthan, live, work and educate their children in the Tucson metropolitan area. Nearly 75 percent of our 7,537 military service members live off base.

D-M Airmen are proud to serve their country, deploying to nearly every corner of the globe. At any given time 500 or more are deployed in support of worldwide operations. D-M Airmen are also proud to call Tucson home. The valuable relationship with the Tucson community and Southern Arizona supporters helps us achieve our missions.

Check out D-M’s economic impact.

Watch our Mission video.

Read more on our website and our Facebook page.

If you have suggestions, comments or questions about this blog, e-mail: 355WGPA@DM.AF.MIL

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