The Reclamation process is why the 'Boneyard' reference has been pinned on AMARG by so many people, including the US military officialdom. On first sight the RIT (Reclamation Insurance Type) area appears to contain a mass of broken aircraft in various stages of dereliction. Many are supported by wooden cradles due to their undercarriage being removed, others are missing major components like wings and vertical stabalizers, some aircraft that are still listed on the AMARG inventory are little more than a pile of unrecognizable metal.
However, the reclamation undertaken at AMARG is done in a very controlled, deliberate manner and many of the 'carcases' in the RIT are still worth a considerable amount of dollars if broken down into their constituant parts. Reclamation is one of the main reasons AMARG remains viable as a facility, it has the skills to extract the very last tax dollars from aircraft that have reached the end of their useful operational lives.
Reclamation is carried out according to one of two schedules:
Perform Programmed (Routine) Reclamation - Programmed reclamation is peformed on an ongoing basis. The owning service Weapons System Manager is responsible for maintaining a save list which specifies the range and quantity of spares required, the information from these lists is fed into the overall reclamation schedule to ensure the required timescales are met.
As components are removed from the donor aircraft they pass through cleaning and inspection workshops to ensure they are of a serviceable quality. After this the components are packaged and shipped according to directions specified by the owning service.
Perform Priority Removal - The owning service of an aircraft can contact AMARG to arrange a priority removal of a component to satisfy an urgent requirement. A removal request can be made under on of two priorities. Priority A requests should be completed within 10 days, priority B requests within 30 days.
A removal notice is prepared containing all of the relevant information required by the reclamation team. Once removed, the parts are routed through cleaning, inspection or other shops for testing as required, then packaged and shipped. After the removal of the component the donor aircraft is resealed using Spraylat so that component deteriation is kept to a minimum.
When there is no reclamation potential left for an aircraft, AMARG will obtain permission to dispose of the remaining airframe from the owning service. When permission has been granted AMARG Technicians remove all hazardous or dangerous materials from the aircraft. These materials can contain asbestos and radioactive materials which have to be carefully disposed of.
Finally engines are removed and the aircraft is dismantled.
After this work has been carried out the aircraft is turned over to the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office (DRMO) for it's disposal. The DRMO performs the disposal and sales function for all of the US Military Services and returns the proceeds of sale back to the U.S. Treasury.