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Airforce One In Baghdad  
User currently offlineSkyguy From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 481 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 3449 times:

Breaking news on CNN that Bush is in Baghdad. On a dangerous trip like this to Baghdad, would the regular 747 (VC-25A) be used on a trip like this or some other aircraft? My thought it's difficult to camouflage a large aircraft like that coming into Baghdad in day light (and thus letting everyone know you're there!) not going noticed.


"Those who talk, do not know, and those who know, do not talk."
12 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineTwoLz2Rn From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 450 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 3414 times:

I was wondering the same thing....would they use a more "nimble" aircraft to get in and out quickly?

User currently offlineSphealey From United States of America, joined May 2005, 377 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 3378 times:

Last time W went to Iraq he flew in from Kuwait on a C-130 (my guess would be a special ops variant).

sPh


User currently offlineBrightCedars From Belgium, joined Nov 2004, 1288 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 3378 times:

From my understanding of US customs the nimble aircraft would then be AF-1.


I want the European Union flag on airliners.net!
User currently offlinePositiverate From United States of America, joined May 2005, 1590 posts, RR: 8
Reply 4, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 3317 times:

Quoting Sphealey (Reply 2):
Last time W went to Iraq he flew in from Kuwait on a C-130 (my guess would be a special ops variant).

If you're talking about the Thanksgiving 2003 trip you're mistaken. He flew in on the 747 (VC-25A).

Quoting Skyguy (Thread starter):
Breaking news on CNN that Bush is in Baghdad. On a dangerous trip like this to Baghdad, would the regular 747 (VC-25A) be used on a trip like this or some other aircraft? My thought it's difficult to camouflage a large aircraft like that coming into Baghdad in day light (and thus letting everyone know you're there!) not going noticed.

The news is reporting it was the VC-25A.


User currently offlineBmacleod From Canada, joined Aug 2001, 2260 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 3274 times:

Quoting Sphealey (Reply 2):
Last time W went to Iraq he flew in from Kuwait on a C-130 (my guess would be a special ops variant).



Quoting Positiverate (Reply 4):
If you're talking about the Thanksgiving 2003 trip you're mistaken. He flew in on the 747 (VC-25A).

Actually Bush did make an Iraq trip via Kuwait last year and did indeed fly in a C-130.

Hey if President Logan on "FOX's 24" is allowed to fly in a Seahawk helicopter, there must be circumstances where military aircraft can be used for presidential transport...



The engine is the heart of an airplane, but the pilot is its soul.
User currently offlineDaus From United States of America, joined May 2005, 288 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 3274 times:

Quoting Skyguy (Thread starter):
My thought it's difficult to camouflage a large aircraft like that coming into Baghdad in day light (and thus letting everyone know you're there!) not going noticed.

The President doesn't go anywhere hoping NOT to be noticed.  Smile

Between the countermeasures and the amped up engines on AF1, there is no other airplane I'd rather go into Baghdad in.

I think the protocal is to go in at night with all the interiors lights off and shades pulled with a damn near vertical approach. With all the C5's going into the airport, I would imagine the guys on the ground would be hard pressed knowing what was coming until it was on the ground.


User currently offlineSkyguy From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 481 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 3232 times:

Daus: AF1 landed in Baghdad at 4.30pm Iraq time, therefore it was daylight then, not night time.

It does not matter which aircraft the President uses, whichever one he is on is called Airforce One. This is not the first time that the President has used an aircraft other than the VC-25A to fly somewhere due to logistical and safety reasons. My thought is that he probably flew to Kuwait on the VC-25A as it would be too hazardrous to take the VC25A to Baghdad, and then hopped on another military aircraft to Baghdad.



"Those who talk, do not know, and those who know, do not talk."
User currently offlineDw747400 From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 1258 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 3223 times:

Quoting Daus (Reply 6):

Between the countermeasures and the amped up engines on AF1, there is no other airplane I'd rather go into Baghdad in.

BINGO! About the only thing that might have an edge on AF1 (the VC-25A) (in terms of safety while in hostile airspace) would be a stealth aircraft. You are probably safer on the VC-25A than in an F-16.

And I know the VC-25A has been into Bagdhad, I know a flight engineer who was onboard during the Thanksgiving mission. The dangerous part would the flight from the airport to the Green Zone. I'm curious what he used for this flight.



CFI--Certfied Freakin Idiot
User currently offlinePositiverate From United States of America, joined May 2005, 1590 posts, RR: 8
Reply 9, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 3173 times:

Quoting Bmacleod (Reply 5):
Quoting Positiverate (Reply 4):
If you're talking about the Thanksgiving 2003 trip you're mistaken. He flew in on the 747 (VC-25A).


Actually Bush did make an Iraq trip via Kuwait last year and did indeed fly in a C-130.

If anyone is interested, the press pool report from the trip. He took the VC-25A into Baghdad nonstop. Oh, and according to the pool reports and the WH press office, it is his second visit (the first being in November 2003 in which he flew in on the VC-25A). I think you all might be confusing the trip the VP took last year into Iraq.


POOL REPORT: BUSH IN IRAQ
Tue Jun 13 2006 09:53:26 ET

BAGHDAD, Iraq - President Bush left for Baghdad on an unannounced five-hour trip designed to boost the government of new Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and allow the two leaders to get to know each other face-to-face. This is his second visit to Iraq since the March 2003 invasion.

The president departed Andrews Air Force Base after secretly traveling by helicopter from Camp David, where he was in the middle of a two-day Iraq summit with members of his cabinet and senior military officials. He was accompanied by senior aides like National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, Chief of Staff Josh Bolten, White House counselor Dan Bartlett, Deputy Chief of Staff Joe Hagan and White House spokesman Tony Snow.

"The POTUS is on board!" Mr. Bush, wearing a navy blue baseball cap, dark pants and blue button down shirt, yelled to reporters as he climbed the rear steps of the plane. [POTUS is a White House acronym for President of the United States.] Air Force One - piloted by the same colonel who had flown Mr. Bush to Iraq on his first trip to Iraq in November 2003 -- was wheels-up at 9:07 PM Washington time Monday night. It landed at Baghdad International Airport at 4:08 PM Baghdad time Tuesday afternoon.

Presidential counselor Dan Bartlett told reporters aboard Air Force One that the trip was planned over the past month by a small group of six White House he described as a "very, very close circle of people." He said that Mr. Bush had wanted to come to Iraq as soon as the final positions in Mr. Maliki's government - the ministers of Defense and Interior – were chosen. Had those posts been filled sooner, Mr. Bush would have made the trip several months earlier, Mr. Bartlett said.

Apart from Vice President Cheney, the only cabinet members notified in advance that the president would be visiting Baghdad were Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, both of whom remained at Camp David after Mr. Bush left for Iraq, Mr. Bartlett said. The rest of the Bush cabinet members assembled at Camp David – including Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman and Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns – weren't told that Mr. Bush had left Camp David until Tuesday morning, Mr. Bartlett said.

Mr. Bartlett said that the president left Camp David Monday evening after excusing himself from an after-dinner discussion about Iraq that included Mr. Cheney; Messrs. Gonzalez, Bodman, and Johanns; National Intelligence Director John Negroponte; Gen. Michael Hayden, the Director of Central Intelligence; and Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Mr. Bartlett explained that at approximately 7:45 PM, Mr. Bush told the officials that he was "losing altitude" and wanted to go to bed to read a bit before falling asleep. The meeting adjourned around 8 PM, but the president had by that point already quietly left for Andrews. Mr. Bartlett declined to specify how the president snuck away without the other officials noticing his absence, but said that the helicopter Mr. Bush flew to Andrews was not the green and white helicopter normally used as Marine One.

"Our cabinet is not completely aware," he said. "They all expected him to show up at breakfast with the ambassador of Iraq."

Mr. Bartlett said that First Lady Laura Bush knew of the trip, though he was unsure of how long ago she had been informed.

The Iraqi government was similarly kept in the dark, Mr. Bartlett said. Mr. Maliki and senior members of his new cabinet had been asked to gather in the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad Tuesday morning for a secure video teleconference with Mr. Bush and his war cabinet at Camp David. Neither Mr. Maliki nor any members of his government were told that Mr. Bush was instead planning to visit Baghdad in person, Mr. Bartlett said. The U.S. told Mr. Maliki that the president was in Baghdad only after the president's Nighthawk helicopter had landed in a secure airfield in the Green Zone after a six-minute trip from the Baghdad airport.

Mr. Bartlett said the extraordinarily-tight protective measures were necessary because of Iraq's tenuous security situation, which also meant that the option of having Mr. Bush stay overnight in Iraq was "never seriously considered."

"The president views it you're entering into a situation with a very determined enemy who wants to stop the very progress that this president and this new government are working so hard to achieve," Mr. Bartlett said. "Obviously, when you're entering into a situation where the enemy is so active we have to be extra cautious, but I think the American people and the entire international community are reassured by the fact that the president is making such a personal effort to ensure the success of the new government."

Secrecy was also tight surrounding the gathering of your pool. Reporters were informed of the president's travel plans in person at a variety of Washington area restaurants, homes, and cafes little more than 24 hours before departure. A harried radio correspondent discovered his pool assignment with a couple of hours' notice (he still made the drive from the Camp David file in time.) Poolers were under strict orders to tell nobody about the travel, including spouses. Some were asked if their bureaus would notice their absence for a day or two.

The pool gathered outside an Arlington, Virginia hotel and was asked to surrender cell phones, blackberries etc. Some found this hard on an emotional level, but complied all the same. We then drove the back roads of Andrews directly to a parking lot outside the secure area surrounding the runway. Security personnel used hand-held wands to check us for metal objects, and a bomb-sniffing dog was led past all of our luggage. The dog also sniffed under the vans we had traveled in. We drove directly to the steps of AF1, which was parked out of sight of the terminal, close by its special hangar. The usual protocols were absent: no officers checking names at the base of the stairs, no departure wave from the president [it was dark when the substitute Marine One landed.] For those who care, dinner was ravioli and the initial entertainment was a Nationals-Colorado game.

Although the president's trip to Baghdad was set to last only five hours, aides said that he would keep to a busy schedule. Mr. Bartlett said the president would hold bilateral discussions with Mr. Maliki before joining the Iraqi premier and his cabinet for the video teleconference with the U.S. cabinet officials gathered at Camp David . President Bush was also scheduled to meet with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, the speaker of Iraq's parliament, and an undisclosed roster of Iraqis drawn from the country's business, cultural and educational circles.

Mr. Bartlett said the main point of the trip was to enable Mr. Bush to meet Mr. Maliki face-to-face and get a clearer sense of the Iraqi premier's priorities and the specific ways the U.S. government could help him succeed. [In a briefing last week before the Iraq trip was announced, Mr. Bartlett had said the U.S. was already reviewing ways it could help Mr. Maliki disarm the country's sectarian militias and improve its spotty electricity system.] He declined to say whether the two men planned to discuss the timing and scope of any U.S. military withdrawals from Iraq.

"When you're dealing with issues of enormous consequence, the security of our country, the security of the Middle East and the world, and you're making such monumental decisions, its critically important that you're able to meet with the new leader, confer with the leader, who you're going to be making those decisions with," he said. "We are committed to the success of the new government and the Maliki plan that he is outlining."

Meeting in person was designed to allow Mr. Bush and Mr. Maliki to "establish a closer relationship than you can just over a telephone," Mr. Bartlett said.

Mr. Bartlett said that Mr. Bush had invited the Iraqi premier to visit the White House, but that the trip's timing had not yet been finalized.

Yochi Dreazen
The Wall Street Journal

Richard Wolffe
Newsweek



POOL REPORT #2

Air Force One landed at the sprawling Baghdad International Airport at 4:08 PM Tuesday afternoon. The plane landed at a semi-deserted airstrip a good distance away from the main terminal. We were hustled off the plane by its back doors and led across the pavement to a waiting convoy of Nighthawk passenger helicopters [Secret Service agents had given us camouflage flak jackets shortly before we landed]. We didn't see POTUS enter his helicopter. As we took off, we could see a long list of waiting vehicles that had driven to the airstrip to meet the plane, including several GMC Suburbans, Humvees, and a white and red ambulance.

The helicopter ride was uneventful and lasted about seven minutes. Everyone on the helicopters was in body armor except for the White House aides, who wore business suits but no armor. Bartlett had earlier said that POTUS would also not be wearing body armor, though we could not verify that for ourselves. When we landed in the Green Zone, we were hustled to a waiting line of Suburbans and other SUVs for the short drive to the Republican Palace, a 1950's-era building which is now part of the U.S. Embassy compound. We arrived there around 4:32 PM local time.

The pool was ushered into a large, domed room in the center of the palace near the entrance to what had been the offices of American proconsul Paul Bremer. An American and an Iraqi flag had been arrayed next to the entrance to the hallway leading to the offices, and when we walked in we saw Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and one of his aides standing there by themselves waiting for POTUS.

POTUS, wearing a navy blue suit, white shirt, and blue tie, swept into the room at 4:43 PM local time, escorted by U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad; Gen. George Casey, the top U.S. military commander in Iraq; Messrs. Hadley, Bolten, Snow; and other aides and Secret Service personnel. Mr. Bush walked up to Mr. Maliki and shook his hand as the cameras flashed. Mr. Maliki said, "Good to see you," to which Mr. Bush responded, "Thanks for having me." They stood in the hallway for another minute and then disappeared into one of the former Bremer offices.

END


User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20501 posts, RR: 62
Reply 10, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 3055 times:

When Bush went to Iraq in 2003, AF1 was identified as a Gulfstream to British controllers (about which they were none to happy to learn wasn't true).

Does anyone know if they flew in under a similar cloak of secrecy this time?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp.../A57870-2003Dec11?language=printer

"The controversy began when the White House said Air Force One was spotted by a British Airways plane but the president's pilots told the dubious British Airways pilots by radio that they were flying a Gulfstream V. The White House later said there was no British Airways plane involved and the conversation took place between British air traffic control and another plane while Air Force One was "off the western coast of England."

As it happens, Air Force One was flying across the North Sea, off the eastern coast of England, when it was spotted by the mystery plane, a German charter jet. But that's being picky.

Of more concern, air traffic controllers in Britain are seething over the flight, in which the president's 747, falsely identified as a Gulfstream, traveled through British airspace. Prospect, the controllers union in the United Kingdom, says the flight broke international regulations, posed a potential safety threat and exposed a weakness in the air defense system that could be exploited by terrorists."



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineNewark777 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 9348 posts, RR: 30
Reply 11, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 2999 times:

Quoting Bmacleod (Reply 5):
there must be circumstances where military aircraft can be used for presidential transport...

The VC-25A IS a military aircraft.

Harry



Why grab a Heine when you can grab a Busch?
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31679 posts, RR: 56
Reply 12, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 2718 times:

Flying AF1 to Bagdad would be great Morale booster for the Troops out there.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
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