The Safest Trip in the World

Last week I felt bad for President Obama, I truly did.  It
was not because he was taking flak from the right for submitting his
Presidential Bracket before submitting a budget.  We haven’t had a budget
in almost four years, why should it get in the way of March Madness, geesh!
 It wasn’t because his gun control bill is falling apart in the Senate
faster than a Kardashian marriage; the Constitution is strong in that one.
 Nope, I didn’t feel bad for the President in either of those scenarios;
it was when his car broke down in Tel Aviv. 

Poor guy, totally
out of his control, and what was most embarrassing  about it was it happened
during a state visit to Israel, where our relations have been extremely
strained lately.  The reason the car broke down was because the wrong gas
was put in it. Very embarrassing!!  It got me thinking about how something
like this could happen and reminded me of a documentary I watched several years
ago by National Geographic called Air Force One, about what goes into a Presidential trip.
Franklin Roosevelt
was the first President to fly in a plane, which was because he needed to
travel overseas to discuss strategy during World War II.  That was when
the Presidency was no longer an American job but became a global job.  Presidential History has spanned over 200 years, Air Force One has been around for only a quarter of that and has become
a full blown operation no matter where the President goes, foreign or domestic.
The documentary
covers one of Bill Clinton’s last trips in Air Force One to California.
 It covers the days leading up to take off.  The first piece of
business is the meeting with the pilot, the Secret Service, FBI, and local
authorities.  They discuss any possible scenario regarding the President’s
safety, which means act of terrorism and the crime rates in that particular
part of the world where he is going.  They finalize the schedule of the
trip to the absolute second.  Once they have all that finalized it’s time
to get moving.
A day or two
before the trip an Air Force Air Lifter loads up the Presidential motorcade,
including a backup limo for the President, and sends it to the destination with
the “Advance Team”.  The Advance Team is on the ground at the
destination making sure all bases are covered.  They check the fuel purity
and then they seal it and guard it to prevent sabotage.  They also
re-survey the runway and mark in detail for the pilot to see.  They go
over every contingency with everyone involved with the landing of Air Force
Back at Andrews
AFB, the morning of the flight they check everything on the both Air Force Ones
to make sure everything is working on the first try.  It’s not enough that
someone is working on this plane almost every day, they leave nothing to
chance.  The food on the plane is shopped for the day before at several regular grocery stores, chosen at random to once again avoid sabotage.
 The team scans the tarmac for debris, by hand.  They are literally
working to make this the safest plane in the world, and rightly so.
The operation that
takes place to get the President to where he needs to be on time and safe is
truly an extraordinary sight.  It is definitely worthy of the office and
it allows the President work while traveling.  They even have a soldier
with him carrying a case called “The Football”, which holds launch
codes for a nuclear strike.  No stone is unturned and the operations
precision is impressive.  So you can see why I felt bad for the President
when his car broke down.  Next time they just need to make sure the limo
has the right gas.
If you don’t take
it from me, ask my wife.

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