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Aircraft storage center receives first B-1

  • Published
  • By Terry Vanden-Heuvel
  • Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center Public Affairs
The first of two dozen B-1 Lancers to be stored as part of the Air Force's B-1 fleet reduction plan arrived at the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center here Aug. 20.

The arrival starts a reduction process that will take the Air Force's B-1 fleet to 60 from its current 92 count. Twenty four will be stored at AMARC and another eight will be placed on static display at various Air Force installations, according to Col. Kenneth Lewandowski, AMARC commander.

"Of the 24 aircraft to be stored at AMARC, 10 will be placed in an inviolate storage where they'll be preserved and stored intact to anticipate future operational requirements," Lweandowski said. "Fourteen will be placed in an excess storage category where engines and selected parts may be removed and returned to the Air Force supply system."

As a result of the reductions, bomber operations have already ceased at McConnell Air Force Base, Kan.; Robins AFB, Ga.; and Mountain Home AFB, Idaho. The remaining active B-1 bomber fleet will operate from Dyess AFB, Texas, and Ellsworth AFB, S.D.

AMARC is in the business of aircraft storage, regeneration and aircraft parts reclamation and experts there are anticipating a large role in sustaining the B-1 fleet, said Ralph Schoneman, AMARC center director.

"Reclaiming parts from any aircraft stored here is a direct cost avoidance to the U.S. taxpayer," he said. "AMARC often reclaims or removes hard-to-obtain parts from aircraft and ships them worldwide to support our nation's warfighters."

In recent months, AMARC technicians have been thoroughly trained so they can properly maintain and store the newly arrived Lancer. Training included deactivating the egress systems on the B-1 to make sure AMARC maintenance workers are safe.

"This aircraft is nothing like anything else we've had in storage," said Schoneman "But AMARC has successfully transitioned into a new phase of technology with the addition of the B-1."

Almost 70 different types of aircraft are currently stored at AMARC, ranging from U.S. Army and Navy helicopters to the Air Force's Vietnam War era F-4s, according to Patrick Mulloy, aircraft management director.

AMARC experts will continue receiving the bombers through fiscal 2003. The Lancers will take their place among the 4,500 viable aircraft already in storage here. (Courtesy of Air Force Materiel Command News Service)