Meet the US President’s transportation fleet

Caddilac One: The Car that think it is a tank
Caddilac One: The Car that think it is a tank (Photo: XY)

The US President’s transportation fleet is the most powerful combination of cars, buses and aircraft in the world. United States President Donald Trump is one of the most powerful persons in the world. That title secures him many privileges which bring a variety of state-of-art vehicles under his command. Because of the President’s role as Commander-in-Chief he exclusively uses military transports for international travel, however, the civilian Secret Service operates the President’s motorcade.

Meet the Beasts on air, land and sea used for President Trump’s transportation.

Air Force One: Boeing 747-200B

The beast among the planes, the Air Force One. Considered as a flying fortress, it is an Air Force aircraft specifically designed, built, and used for purpose of transporting the U.S. President. The Air Force One refers to the official air traffic control sign for US Air Force aircraft carrying the President of the United States. In the Presidential fleet, there are two customized Boeing 747-200B aircraft (military designation VC-25A) called SAM 28000 and 29000.

Air Force One Boeing 747-200B aircraft (military designation VC-25A) SAM 28000 and SAM 29000
Air Force One: Boeing 747-200B aircraft (military designation VC-25A) SAM 28000. A star in the US President’s transportation fleet (Photo: XY)

Among all state-of-art technology onboard including comms, security and other equipment. The aircraft has 4,000 square feet of interior space and can accommodate up to 76 passengers. The body of the plane can withstand a nuclear blast from the ground. All of the windows are armored.

In modern history, the U.S. presidential aircraft is a prominent symbol of the American presidency and its power.

Cadillac One

The Beast or Caddillac One is the current model of the presidential state car. It is a unique Cadillac built upon a chassis of a medium-duty truck platform. It is based on Chevrolet Kodiak, a heavy-duty General Motors truck.

The Beast is equipped with many life-saving, offensive, and defensive equipment and measures. The whole car is custom built to the United States Secret Service’s standards. When riding in the state car, the president is cut off from the outside world but has extensive 21st-century communications gear at hand, including, among other things, the ability to dispatch the codes necessary to fire nuclear weapons. In a recent change, the vehicle bears standard Washington, D.C. license plates.

A U.S. Secret Service agent cleans the presidential limousine known as Cadillac One and the Beast
A U.S. Secret Service agent cleans the presidential limousine known as Cadillac One and the Beast (Photo: Mike Segar/Reuters)

Donald Trump’s new Cadillac One cost around $1.5M and weighs 20,000 lbs. It also comes equipped with a fridge full of the president’s own blood type.

Ground Force One

The giant black armored bus in the Presidential fleet is unofficially coded as Ground Force One. It is the unofficial code-name for the bus used to transport the President of the United States and other dignitaries. The US Secret Service formerly used rented buses as part of the presidential motorcade, with retro-fitting for secure communications where necessary.

In August 2011 the Secret Service introduced a new permanent addition to the federal government’s fleet, initially for use by Barack Obama in the campaign leading up to the 2012 Presidential Election. It is a 45-foot long bus specially designed by the Secret Service.

Ground Force One, a bus in US Presidential fleet
Ground Force One, a bus in US Presidential fleet (Photo: XY)

The bus is well-equiped as it is the Cadillac One. It comes with a huge array of equipment and a suite of security precautions, including run-flat tires, armored exteriors, and heavily reinforced glass. The Ground Force One is painted in jet black.

In addition to the security features, the bus comes equipped with a full suite of office equipment including phones, television, radio, and the internet, according to America’s Book of Secrets “Presidential Transports”.

The Ground Force One cost around $1.1M and it is manufactured by Tennessee-based company Hemphill Brothers Coach. Beside Ground Force One, Secret Service also purchased a twin decoy.

Marine One: VH-3D Helicopter

If US president needs to travel somewhere close, but yet wants to be there fast as it can be, he usually denotes a helicopter operated by Marine Helicopter Squadron One (HMX-1 “Nighthawks”), either the large VH-3D Sea King or the newer, smaller VH-60N “WhiteHawk”. Those birds in US President’s transportation fleet are bear a call sign Marine One.

Marine One: VH-3D Helicopter
Marine One: VH-3D Helicopter (Photo: USMC)

It is the call sign of any United States Marine Corps aircraft carrying the President of the United States. A Marine Corps aircraft carrying the Vice President has the call sign Marine Two.

The next-generation Marine One helicopter referred to as VH-92A is being developed for the US Marine Corps (USMC). It will replace the aging VH-3D presidential helicopter in service with the USMC. The whole project is led by Sikorsky Aircraft and Lockheed Martin companies.

Marine One VH-92A helicopter made its first flight in July 2017.
The next-generation Marine One VH-92A helicopter made its first flight in July 2017. (Photo: USMC)

The current Marine One US President’s transportation fleet is composed of 19 helicopters, the oldest of which were built around 1975.

As it is with other military branches of the US Military, the US Navy also has a call sign for any United States Navy aircraft carrying the President of the United States. Such aircraft in the Navy are designated as Navy ONE. So far, there has only been one such aircraft used to transport President George W. Bush to the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln off the coast of San Diego, Californina on May 1, 2003.

Navy ONE: Lockheed S-3 Viking, BuNo 159387, assigned to the "Blue Wolves" of VS-35
Navy ONE: Lockheed S-3 Viking, BuNo 159387, assigned to the “Blue Wolves” of VS-35 (Photo: US Navy)

For that occasion, George W. Bush was transported in a Lockheed S-3 Viking, BuNo 159387, assigned to the “Blue Wolves” of VS-35. The pilot was Commander Skip Lussier, then VS-35’s executive officer; and the flight officer was Lieutenant Ryan Phillips. The aircraft was codenamed as Navy ONE during that flight. US President’s transportation fleet is not limited to only one Navy aircraft, but so far there was no need for additional ones.

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