As boneyards go, this place is pretty lively.

Before many Tucsonans have even started their morning commute, a pair of aircraft mechanics are already crouched over the open cockpit of an F-18 fighter jet, disarming the ejector seat and removing the explosives. Nearby, a towing crew pulls a Navy P-3 anti-submarine aircraft over to the "flush farm" to be drained of its fuel. Then they hook up to a different F-18 and haul it to the "wash rack" for perhaps the last thorough cleaning it will ever get.

Meanwhile, about a mile away, a small army of specialty painters fans out across a dirt lot to spray protective coating on row after row of mothballed C-130 transport planes.

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Air Force Academy football coach Troy Calhoun refused to answer questions about cocaine use by three of his players during a news conference Tuesday.

Calhoun is the Air Force's highest-paid employee, with a salary set at $725,000 per year plus generous bonuses in his 2013 contract, which has since been extended with accompanying pay raises.

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