Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Choppers

Last night, I saw a program on the functioning of Marine Helicopter Squadron HX3 -- the one that flies Marine One.

I was not surprised to learn that there are multiple Marine Ones (any thing the President flies that's a chopper is called that, and it's always flown by the Marines), or to learn that they have support aircraft, too. To learn how many Marine Ones they have, and support aircraft, and people; to learn that they fly the helicopter and people and parts inside an Air Force cargo transport anywhere the President goes, whether they're expecting to use it or not; to see how big their operation is -- well, I thought : This is part of why it costs so much to move the President someplace.

And I remembered how, just as Obama was coming into office, there was a kerfuffle about a new Marine One that the military wanted -- bigger, stronger, faster, more shielding, more everything -- and how they didn't, but only because this was a new President and he wanted to get past the question (I'm not used to this one yet, he said. I've never had a helicopter before.)

A long way from the President going out for a stroll by himself....

4 comments:

Carolyn Ann said...

I saw that program! (Or something like it; it was a few weeks ago?) It was quite fascinating.

I remember the whole thing about the new helicopter. It was loaded with gizmo's and W's White House wanted even more. The cost, if memory serves, was heading to $500M a piece or something.

And I think it was French made, too!

Carolyn Ann said...

Here it is: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/16/AR2008031602936.html

It was going to be $400M each! What's a hundred million between friends?

Cerulean Bill said...

Ah, but it wasn't between friends - it was between politicians.

Carolyn Ann said...

LOL!