By Terry Ward – I received a media advisory Sunday asking if I wanted press credentials to President Donald J. Trump’s Marine One Arrival and Air Force One Departure. It was scheduled for Monday at the Greenville-Spartanburg Airport. Trump had been in Charlotte for the start of the Republican National Convention.
I have seen five presidents, but I’d never been given an opportunity to see all of the moving parts involving an Air Force One departure, until Monday.
Of course Air Force One is impressive with The United States Of America emblazoned on the side, with the presidential seal. It’s a massive aircraft.
What I did not anticipate was the Osprey helicopters. The Bell Boeing Osprey is an American multi-mission, tilt-rotor military aircraft with both vertical takeoff and landing, and short takeoff and landing capabilities, according to Wikipedia.
There were three Osprey at the airport Monday. All of the presidents traveling party unloaded from the aircraft. They were big, loud and quite a sight.
The president was not on the Osprey. He came in on a much smaller helicopter called Marine One. His wife Melania was with him. Trump stopped briefly and waved to crowd that came out to see his departure. There was a contingent of media on the tarmac too, set up on a flatbed.
In addition to the aircraft, the president’s limousine was at the airport, being prepared for transport.
Aside from the machinery, it takes a large number of people, from Secret Service personnel, to airport police, and sniper’s nests, to conduct a presidential visit.