How does Condilissa Rice Fly?

Or any other government big-wig for that matter. Do they use Air Force One? Does the gov’t have other airplanes for cabinet members, etc?
Surely they don’t fly commercial airlines. Or do they?

The Air Force Special Missions Wing has a number of jets, large and small, for the transportation of important government officials. They don’t fly commercial as a rule.

Remember, Air Force One is a call-sign, not an airplane.



To get back on topic with non-politically charged comments…

The 89th Airlift Wing based at Andrews AFB provides VIP transport for senior US government officials. While the 747 that often uses the Air Force One callsign is the most famous aircraft, they fly many types of aircraft. These include Gulfstreams, 757s, DC-9s and Learjets. All are modified to varying degrees from the civilian versions.

Whenever the President is onboard an Air Force aircraft, that aircraft uses the Air Force One callsign. During the 2004 campaign you would often see Bush flying around the country in one of the 89th’s 757s using the AF1 callsign.

When someone like the Secretary of State is onboard the aircraft uses a more traditional callsign (usually SAM ####, where SAM stands for Special Air Mission). The type of aircraft used is driven by the mission.

The 89th usually only carries the President, VP and cabinet members domestically. Senators and Congressmen often fly commercially, especially to and from their home states. On an international trip doing US government business Senators and Congressmem will most likely get 89th support, though.

LOL :smiley:

She plummets.

you have to wad her up pretty tight to get any sort of aerodynamic.

Politically charged statements are not appreciated in GQ.

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General Questions Moderator

So what’s a likely choice of aircraft for her current middle east trip? Would she get her own 757 for something like this? Is there a press corps travelling on the same plane?

Yes to both of your questions. It’s probably one of the 757s and the press corps travels on the airplane with her. There is probably a C-17 or C-5 following them around as well carrying limos and comm gear, as well as security agents and any other extraneous stuff that can’t fit in the belly of a 757.

Thanks, all. Your answers were very thorough.

How low can you be to merit Air Force flight treatment? Is it just cabinet members or do some high ranking subordinates qualify?

Well…it depends.

Some cabinet positions and undersecretaries have more need of military airlift than others. For example an undersecratary of Defense might need to travel to Kabul, Afghanistan on short notice - that trip will get Air Force airlift support. Also, an undersecretary of the Interior going to assess damage from a flood or wildfire would probably get support. That same undersecratary going out to San Diego to chat with the locals about traffic congestion will most likely fly commercial.

Flying someone around on Air Force aircraft is VERY expensive and usage is closely monitored. The people who approve the requests take their job seriously. My memory is fuzzy but I seem to recall a 4-star general getting in trouble in the mid-90s because of misuse of airlift.

So just out of curriosity, how is it that Presidents get to use these expensive aircraft for their political campaigns?

Because he can almost always mix in some official business with the travel. This is true for all presidents regardless of party. That’s why it’s good to be president.