Presidential aircraft provides tip-off on Trump's trip
Last updated 9/2/2020 at 9pm
The Record Newspapers correctly predicted President Donald’s Trump to visit Orange Saturday, but blew it on the Ospreys.
Photos from the Orange County Airport of two U.S. Marine Osprey Vertical Takeoff and Landing airplanes, each reportedly costing about $70 million to produce, and a green and white United States of America helicopter resembling the President’s Marine One showed up at the County Record offices Friday.
At the time, a visit by the President had not been mentioned locally – in fact, there was never an official announcement – and it was wrongly deduced that the photos were left over from Thursday’s visit in Orange of Gov. Greg Abbott and U.S. Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz.
It turns out those aircraft were here in advance of the President’s visit, County Judge John Gothia confirmed this week.
The non-local state officials flew into Jefferson County Airport.
Gothia said the two Ospreys each carried three cars for the President’s motorcade, including the President’s 10-ton bullet proof Cadillac One, also known as “The Beast.”
It has eight-inch thick steel plates and five-inch thick bullet-proof glass to protect the President from assaults and special Kevlar, drive-flat tires. A second decoy Beast travels with the motorcade. A third vehicle, a heavily armored Chevrolet Suburban nicknamed “Roadrunner,” carries Secret Service officers and a communication setup that includes a link to military satellites.
In addition to Air Force One, which flew into Lake Charles’ Chennault International Airport shortly after 1 p.m. Saturday, the President’s traveling party included the world’s largest military cargo plane.
The C-17 Boeing Globemaster III, a fixture on all Presidential trips, is big enough to hold both an Osprey, its wings folded up neatly once its rotors are removed, Marine One and motorcade vehicles.
The Presidential entourage for the trip to inspect damage from Hurricane Laura included Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and the bosses of the Department of Homeland Security, Chad Wolf, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Pete Gaynor.
The White House press corps had about two dozen members on the trip. At least four 15-passenger rental vans remained Monday morning in the parking lot of the Orange County Convention and Expo Center, site of the President’s 30-minute meeting with local and state officials.
Turned out the Marine One lookalike helicopter was Marine One. The Sikorsky VH-60N “White Hawk” chopper is one of eight in use by Marine Helicopters Squadron One, along with 11 Sikorsky VH-3D helicopters. Whichever one is carrying the President is designated “Marine One.”