Boneyards, Missiles and Forts: The Military Exhibits of Southern Arizona

From your 'base' in Tucson, venture out to these military-oriented attractions, including a Cold War missile, amazing museums, frontier forts and a massive aircraft boneyard in the desert.

Military history lives on in and around Tucson, offering visitors a chance to view a wide range of exhibits, from the Apache Wars to the Cold War and even present day operational facilities. 

Titan Missile Museum

The only remaining preserved Titan II Missile site in the United States is on display at the Titan Missile Museum. During the Cold War, 54 of these nine-megaton nuclear warheads were held in silos in Kansas, Arkansas and Arizona, designed for retaliation only and capable of reaching a target 6,300 miles away in only 30 minutes. With a 58-second launch time, once keys were turned and button pressed—there was no turning back. Trace the very steps our Air Force members walked each day while on 24-hour alert at one of the most top-secret military sites of that time.

Titan II Missile

Pima Air & Space Museum

The third-largest aviation museum in the country, more than 300 aircraft are displayed at Pima Air & Space Museum. Although not classified as a military museum, 60 percent of its collection is made up of military planes. On the same grounds, visit the 390th Memorial Museum—a tribute to the 390th Bombardment Group stationed in England during World War II, the Eighth Air Force B-17 Flying Fortress flew in 301 combat missions. Then, hop on a charter bus and tour through the Aircraft Boneyard, where more than 4,200 aircraft reside in a storage, maintenance and reclamation facility supporting all branches of the U.S. military.

390th Memorial Museum

AMARG Aircraft Boneyard 

From the Pima Air & Space Museum, hop on a charter bus and tour through the Aircraft Boneyard. The 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG) adjoins with Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, where more than 4,200 aircraft are stored and support all branches of the U.S. military.

AMARG Aircraft Boneyard

Fort Lowell Museum

What is left of the ruins of Fort Lowell­—an active US Army post from 1873 to 1891—make up the Fort Lowell Museum and outdoor exhibit. A crucial role in the Apache Wars, it was deemed as the regimental headquarters of the Sixth U.S. Cavalry during the 1880s. 

Fort Huachuca Museum

Fort Huachuca is an active military installation in Sierra Vista and houses two museums. The Fort Huachuca Museum resides within two buildings and features US Army and southwest military history, with an emphasis on Buffalo Soldiers and the Apache War. Highlighting military intelligence roles within the US Army, the Military Intelligence Museum displays a World War II German Enigma cipher machine among other communications, camera and cryptographic gear.

Museum of the Horse Soldier

One of Tucson’s most recent museum installations, the Museum of the Horse Soldier honors the U.S. Military’s mounted service during the 18th through 21st centuries. Inspired by the military artifact collection of artist Dan Bates, who used the current museum space as his studio, the museum displays over 2,000 periodically changing items, including uniforms, saddles, weaponry, insignia, flags and awards.