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Refueling Air Force One Overseas - Who Pays?  
User currently offlineBEYauty From Lebanon, joined Aug 2005, 163 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 years 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 7256 times:

G.W Bush is in Jordan this week after concluding a NATO meeting in Latvia. So, while in Jordan, AF1 will obviously have to refuel prior to heading back home. I have 3 questions:

1) What is the protocol regarding who pays for the fuel. The host country or the US government?

2) How does the secret service ensure that the quality of the fuel meets certain standards and is safe and not tampered with. Do they test it in any way, sort of like how they ensure that the food that the pres is provided comes from a reliable and secure source?

3) Who provides the maintenance should work need to be done on the aircraft. Do they fly mechanics in for any work that needs to be done on the aircraft?

Anyone privy to this type of information, please share.

Thank you.

27 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineLVTMB From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 392 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (8 years 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 7232 times:

I can certainly answer #1: We pay! US taxpayers!

MB


User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3592 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (8 years 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 7232 times:
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Quoting BEYauty (Thread starter):
1) What is the protocol regarding who pays for the fuel. The host country or the US government?

U.S. Govt. BTW: Foreign VIP aircraft visiting Andrews AFB have ground handling services charged to the respective Embassy

Quoting BEYauty (Thread starter):
How does the secret service ensure that the quality of the fuel meets certain standards and is safe and not tampered with. Do they test it in any way, sort of like how they ensure that the food that the pres is provided comes from a reliable and secure source?

Mobile fuel lab. Tested, then sealed until delivered to aircraft.



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User currently offlineJetjack74 From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 7438 posts, RR: 50
Reply 3, posted (8 years 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 7129 times:
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Quoting BEYauty (Thread starter):
1) What is the protocol regarding who pays for the fuel. The host country or the US government?

It's charged to the DOD/Pentagon.

Quoting BEYauty (Thread starter):
2) How does the secret service ensure that the quality of the fuel meets certain standards and is safe and not tampered with. Do they test it in any way, sort of like how they ensure that the food that the pres is provided comes from a reliable and secure source?

Well, most likely it'll be refueled inflight with a KC-135 or KC-10 which is usually on station nearby to link up with the aircraft when in transit. In countries where the quality might be in question, they won't fuel there. There are only a few of our closest allied-countries where Diplomatic Clearances will allow AF1 to take on fuel. The aircraft is mostly refuled during flight when needed.

Quoting BEYauty (Thread starter):
3) Who provides the maintenance should work need to be done on the aircraft. Do they fly mechanics in for any work that needs to be done on the aircraft?

Yes, they carry their maintenence team with the aircraft wherever it goes.



Made from jets!
User currently offlineRichardPrice From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (8 years 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 7121 times:

Quoting BEYauty (Thread starter):
sort of like how they ensure that the food that the pres is provided comes from a reliable and secure source?

They dont actually do that - the day before AF1 is due in service, three teams of Secret Service agents go shopping in different places - they spread the shopping over more than one shop and they do it in complete secrecy, to everyone else they are just a few people going food shopping.

That way you dont have to trust one source, and its just as safe becuase someone would have to poison a significant part of the local populace to get the President, and that would be spotted before its due for consumption on AF1.


User currently offlineStealthZ From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 5743 posts, RR: 44
Reply 5, posted (8 years 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 7100 times:
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Quoting Jetjack74 (Reply 3):
Well, most likely it'll be refueled inflight with a KC-135 or KC-10 which is usually on station nearby to link up with the aircraft when in transit

You think so?
I believe that AF-1 refuels from the same distribution system as the other aircraft at a particular location.
Whilst I could accept some extra testing is done, any contamination of an airport fuel system that would affect AF-1 would become pretty apparent in all the other aircraft using that airport(just as the shopping in regular markets!)
Any tampering with a fuel supply that would cause an immediate catastrophic problem would show up in the most rudimentary tests.
Turbine engines are remarkably tolerent of the fuel they use, sure aviation turbine fuel meets strict standards but you would be surprised what a modern turbine will run on.



If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
User currently offlineDw747400 From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 1265 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (8 years 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 7030 times:

Quoting Jetjack74 (Reply 3):
Well, most likely it'll be refueled inflight with a KC-135 or KC-10 which is usually on station nearby to link up with the aircraft when in transit.

The VC-25A has never (according to crewers) been air refueled with the President onboard, and very rarely refuels without him... even refuelling practice for the crews is conducted on other airframes--E-4Bs.



CFI--Certfied Freakin Idiot
User currently offlineN231YE From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (8 years 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 7029 times:

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 2):
Mobile fuel lab. Tested, then sealed until delivered to aircraft.

That is correct, I have seen this done before.


User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3592 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (8 years 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 6934 times:
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Quoting Jetjack74 (Reply 3):
Well, most likely it'll be refueled inflight with a KC-135 or KC-10 which is usually on station nearby to link up with the aircraft when in transit. In countries where the quality might be in question, they won't fuel there. There are only a few of our closest allied-countries where Diplomatic Clearances will allow AF1 to take on fuel. The aircraft is mostly refuled during flight when needed.

Not even close. AF1 fuel comes from the same source as every jet at the field it happens to be at. Fuel is tested and sealed. If something is dodgy with the fuel the testing will catch it. If the testing doesn't catch it other jets will have problems first.

edit: Not taking fuel for security reasons at a foreign field could be something of a diplomatic faux pas. Their are other diplomatic problems created by fuel concerns -- just a week or two ago Bush had to refuel in Moscow and Putin insisted on a meeting whcih had no choice but to accept. At least that was the story that was given to the press.

Quoting Jetjack74 (Reply 3):
Yes, they carry their maintenence team with the aircraft wherever it goes.

If you call the flight mech & flight engineer a "maintenance team" then yeah you're right.

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 4):
They dont actually do that - the day before AF1 is due in service, three teams of Secret Service agents go shopping in different places - they spread the shopping over more than one shop and they do it in complete secrecy, to everyone else they are just a few people going food shopping.

Er, no. Secret Service does no cooking or food shopping. The aircrew does that. All the shopping is done at one place, they just shop at different grocery stores each trip, wear civilian clothes, and pay cash. Just like the fuel, if the food is dodgy someone else will get sick first.

Quoting N231YE (Reply 7):
That is correct, I have seen this done before.

Thanks, I appreciate someone recognizing the truth.

[Edited 2006-12-02 00:07:10]


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User currently offlineRichardPrice From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (8 years 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 6928 times:

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 8):
Er, no. Secret Service does no cooking or food shopping. The aircrew does that. All the shopping is done at one place, they just shop at different grocery stores each trip, wear civilian clothes, and pay cash. Just like the fuel, if the food is dodgy someone else will get sick first.

Firstly, I never said they did any cooking, and secondly there are several documentaries about AF1 during Bill Clintons term where its mentioned that the secret service did the shopping as I described above.


User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3592 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (8 years 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 6925 times:
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Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 9):
Firstly, I never said they did any cooking, and secondly there are several documentaries about AF1 during Bill Clintons term where its mentioned that the secret service did the shopping as I described above.

Watch the videos again. The aircrew does the shopping in all the ones I've seen.

I also did fleet service on this aircraft and worked with the crews for 4 years.



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User currently offlineRichardPrice From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (8 years 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 6921 times:

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 10):
Watch the videos again. The aircrew does the shopping in all the ones I've seen.

It was definitely the SS in the ones I have watched.


User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3592 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (8 years 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 6918 times:
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Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 11):
It was definitely the SS in the ones I have watched.

You need to get some new videos then, yours are dodgy. I'll take my experience working with that aircraft & crew over your videos anyday.

Besides do you really think any self respecting, professional Air Force chef on AF1 would actually let a cop from the Treasury Dept do his/her grocery shopping for him? I'll let you think about that one for a minute.....



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User currently offlineRichardPrice From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (8 years 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 6812 times:

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 12):
You need to get some new videos then, yours are dodgy. I'll take my experience working with that aircraft & crew over your videos anyday.

Perhaps we are both correct - you havent worked on the aircraft since the day it came into service, have you?


User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3592 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (8 years 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 6783 times:
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Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 13):
Perhaps we are both correct

I don't think so...

Have you looked at your videos again? What are the names of the videos you are referencing? I've told you my source....



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User currently offlineRichardPrice From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (8 years 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 6779 times:

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 14):
I don't think so...

Wow, excuse me for saying so but - arrogant! I dont care what position you have held or what people you know, the VC-25s have been in service 16 years, and you are telling me theres not one single possibility that during that time the SS did the shopping now and then and not the crew?

God, even I admit Im wrong from time to time, but my information on this one says what I say above. Im willing to admit that the SS doesnt do it all the time, or they only did it for a period, but the documentaries I have watched says that they did it and so Im more likely to believe the documentaries from the History Channel and Discovery Channel than some unnamed person from a forum quoting sources that, quite frankly, cannot be substantiated to me.

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 14):
Have you looked at your videos again? What are the names of the videos you are referencing? I've told you my source....

Look, Im not going to get into a pissing match with some guy from a forum on a matter which, in the end, really doesnt matter.

Yes, I have reviewed the documentaries, yes it distinctly says in them its a team from the Secret Service doing the shopping. The documentaries in question are from the Discovery Channel and the History Channel.

Beyond that, this no longer matters to me.


User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3592 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (8 years 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 6775 times:
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Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 15):
Wow, excuse me for saying so but - arrogant!

Not arrogant. I've been there - you haven't. I know from personal experience. You know from a video. Not arrogance, Just facts.

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 15):
God, even I admit Im wrong from time to time, but my information on this one says what I say above. Im willing to admit that the SS doesnt do it all the time, or they only did it for a period, but the documentaries I have watched says that they did it and so Im more likely to believe the documentaries from the History Channel and Discovery Channel than some unnamed person from a forum quoting sources that, quite frankly, cannot be substantiated to me.

I'm sorry I can't substantiate my work related experiences any more for you. Can you tell me which videos you are referencing?

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 15):
Yes, I have reviewed the documentaries, yes it distinctly says in them its a team from the Secret Service doing the shopping. The documentaries in question are from the Discovery Channel and the History Channel.

Which documentaries?

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 15):
Beyond that, this no longer matters to me.

Then why so worked up about it?



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User currently offlineRichardPrice From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (8 years 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 6768 times:

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 16):
Not arrogant. I've been there - you haven't. I know from personal experience. You know from a video. Not arrogance, Just facts.

By your own admission, your experience covers a 4 year period. Therefor your experiences are not all encompassing as the life of the current VC-25s is, as stated before, 16 years. Can you, hand on heart, state unequivocally, that you can track every single preparation for every single flight of the VC-25 with the President onboard within that period?

Refusing to acknowledge that you dont know everything is arrogance.

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 16):
Can you tell me which videos you are referencing?

...

Which documentaries?

The Discovery Channel one was origionally produced by National Geographic in 1998 entitled 'An American Symbol - Air Force One'.

The History Channel one was produced by the History Channel and was entitled simply 'Air Force One' in 2001.

I cannot vouch for the names of these documentaries outside the UK and the voiceovers may be different.

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 16):
Then why so worked up about it?

Im not, Im just in awe of you.


User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3592 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (8 years 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 6748 times:
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Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 17):
By your own admission, your experience covers a 4 year period. Therefor your experiences are not all encompassing as the life of the current VC-25s is, as stated before, 16 years. Can you, hand on heart, state unequivocally, that you can track every single preparation for every single flight of the VC-25 with the President onboard within that period?

No I can't. However the pool of ramp workers (non-maintenance) in the Air Force is small, particularly compared to an airline, about 2500 world wide. The subset of that 2500 that can meet all the criteria for AF1 duty is far smaller, 16 at the time I worked the aircraft. Of those 16 many will homestead at Andrews and finish their careers there. Those that leave all know each other. We meet up occasionally on deployments, exchange e-mails, hang out on aviation websites. In short we remain well connected. So allthough I can't say yes to your question above I can say that those of us in the AF1 family often have a good chuckle at the expense of those outside the family who would pass off questionable AF1 "facts" in the media, websites, etc. much the same as the average a.netter has a good laugh when the press mistakes a 747 for a A320.

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 17):
Refusing to acknowledge that you dont know everything is arrogance.

Regurgitating facts you got off the telly to someone who has personal experience with the subject at hand might also be considered "arrogant".

Besides I never claimed to "know everything"

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 17):
The Discovery Channel one was origionally produced by National Geographic in 1998 entitled 'An American Symbol - Air Force One'.

I beleive the video you are referencing above is this one:

http://www.amazon.com/National-Geogr.../105-7530270-7040448?ie=UTF8&s=dvd

I use this video as one of my "open source" references when I discuss AF1 matters. Essentially what means is that if it's on the video or one of my other references I can talk about it openly without jeopardizing my security clearance. Like I said earlier it's a small community and I wouldn't be hard to find if I let something slip out.

I won't say this video is perfect (there are omissions, misrepresentations, and it's getting dated) but it's about the best one I've seen. I will say that it's fairly consistent with the experience I had while working the aircraft.

On my version of the video at approximately 14:30 the narrator explains that the stewards, not the secret service, buys the food. This too is consistent with my experience.

Still looking for your other video.



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User currently offlineRichardPrice From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (8 years 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 6738 times:

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 18):

Regurgitating facts you got off the telly to someone who has personal experience with the subject at hand might also be considered "arrogant".

Im sorry but I have absolutely no way to substantiate that you have personal experience, so while my information is borne out by at least two sources that I know of, Im going to go with that. Im not in the game of spouting random incorrect crap on message boards just because I can, so why in hell would I be making this up, especially as it means nothing!? Thats what makes this particular discussion all the more inane.

In either case, someone goes out and buys your standard, off the shelf groceries the same as the next person.

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 18):
I beleive the video you are referencing above is this one:
...

On my version of the video at approximately 14:30 the narrator explains that the stewards, not the secret service, buys the food. This too is consistent with my experience.

No thats not it, in mine the discussions on shopping is done at around 35 minutes in.

And Im really done with this discussion, its pointless. Knock yourself out.


User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3592 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (8 years 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 6733 times:
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Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 19):
Im sorry but I have absolutely no way to substantiate that you have personal experience

Can also be said for everyone else on the board.

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 19):
so while my information is borne out by at least two sources that I know of,

One of which I cannot find, the other which you apparently misquoted.

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 19):
so why in hell would I be making this up

I don't think you're making it up. I think you're just misunderstanding a fact you think you heard. You went out on a limb, got called on your facts, now you're trying to recover.

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 19):
And Im really done with this discussion, its pointless. Knock yourself out.

You've said that several times now.



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User currently offlineLimaNiner From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 404 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (8 years 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 6715 times:

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 8):
All the shopping is done at one place, they just shop at different grocery stores each trip, wear civilian clothes, and pay cash. Just like the fuel, if the food is dodgy someone else will get sick first.

Curious. It doesn't seem too hard to pick out a bunch of gringos in a foreign country. If the food had slow-acting, uhhh... "additives", the local civilian "canaries" might not show symptoms until it's too late...


User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3592 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (8 years 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 6656 times:
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Quoting LimaNiner (Reply 21):
Curious. It doesn't seem too hard to pick out a bunch of gringos in a foreign country. If the food had slow-acting, uhhh... "additives", the local civilian "canaries" might not show symptoms until it's too late...

All the food is purchased in DC prior to the trip. The only things that get picked up enroute are things like dry ice, newspapers, magazines, etc.



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User currently offlineGlideslope From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1628 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (8 years 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 6582 times:

LOL, this thread started of on Fuel and ground MX charge back theme. Now it's turned into a Samurai Chef Cook Off.  coffee 


To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.” Sun Tzu
User currently offlineDeltaGuy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (8 years 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 6561 times:

I dunno about the rest of you all, but I trust ZANL188's take on it- the man's actually worked on the AF1 fleet, so he's probably the most qualified one on this board. I trust expert opinion over a video tape any day.

DeltaGuy


25 HaveBlue : I agree with Zan too, and it's Price that comes across as arrogant, not Zan imo.
26 N231YE : No problem. I worked at CLE over the summer, when Pres. Bush came in via AF-1 (29000) to help campaign with the GOP Governor candidate for Ohio, and
27 AlanCHS : The operational cost of the Presidential 747 to the US Taxpayer as I have been told being a member of the USAF is about $25,0000 USD per hour.
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