Youll find a region filled with enough information to delight all needs. The flags of Spain, Mexico, the Confederate States of America, the state of Arizona, and the United States of America have all flown over southern Arizona. There are places to learn about the victories and defeats of the Native American warriors, Spanish conquistadors, Mexican rebels, the US Cavalry, modern military aircraft, and even intercontinental ballistic missile facilities. West of Sierra Vista, the Coronado National Memorial commemorates the first major exploration of Francisco Vasquez de Coronado and the Spanish Conquistadors in the 1500s into what is now the United States.
The Tubac Presidio State Park, south of Tucson, contains the ruins of the original 1751 Spanish Colonial fort, including portions of the foundations, walls, and plaza floor near the commandants quarters. Sierra Vista is the home to Fort Huachuca. Still an active US Army post, it was built in 1877 and served as the home for the 10th Cavalry, also known as the Buffalo Soldiers, 1913-31.
The Fort Huachuca Historical Museum and the Military Intelligence Museum have excellent exhibits chronicling the significance of the military in Southern Arizona. You might visit the Fort Bowie National Historic Site near Willcox. Established to protect strategic Apache Pass, it gave protection to settlers and travelers during the first half of the 19th century.
Modern military enthusiasts might want to spend time at the Pima Air Museum just east of Tucson. The largest privately funded air museum in the world, it has capitalized on another fascinating landmark next-door, the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center (AMARC) at Davis-Monthan AFB. Nicknamed the Aircraft Boneyard by aircraft preservationists, this huge military aircraft storage facility takes advantage of the dry climate and wide-open space to remain the final parking spot for about 4500 military aircraft of 70 different types.
You may drive by and view the machines at any time, but access to the area is restricted so to join a tour you must make reservations (520-574-0462). The worlds only ballistic missile museum can be found south of Tucson on Interstate 19. A former Titan II missile silo that belonged to the 571st Strategic Missile Squadron of the 390th Missile Wing offers daily tours taking visitors into the control room, maintenance areas, and living quarters of the silo.
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