Every four/eight years you’ll see new groups decrying how much it costs the US President to travel, especially when the White House switches parties.  Surely enough, ABC News reports a wide variety of sources questioning the need for President Trump to travel to his residence in Mar-a-Lago, Florida, as frequently as he has since taking office.

Air Force One carrying President Bush taxies on the runway at Davis-Monthan Air Force base in Tucson, Arizona, USA.

Air Force One carrying President Bush taxies on the runway at Davis-Monthan Air Force base in Tucson, Arizona, USA.

I’ll leave the politics out of it and frankly leave it up to the President to decide what travel is important to him/her (leaving the politics out of it because frankly I’d probably find fault in it regardless who was in office).  However, what’s interesting to me is WHY it costs so much to transport the President.

The typical presidential trip involves at least:

  • 2-5 Sikorsky Nighthawk or White Hawk helicopters (one, carrying the President, with the callsign Marine One and the rest in formation as decoys)
  • 2 heavily-modified Boeing 747 aircraft (one, carrying the President, with the callsign Air Force One and the other a decoy)
  • 10+ support vehicles
  • 2 Presidential Limousines
  • 1+ Lockheed C-5 Galaxy aircraft to transport vehicles
  • A litany of support vehicles from local public safety organizations

Add all of that together and absolutely it’s going to cost an incredible amount to transport the President.  It’s deemed as necessary, though, since it is all to look after the supposed leader of the free world.

One of my favorite YouTube channels, Wendover Productions, released a video a few days ago which walks through the publicly available information presidential transport costs and arrives at a pretty crazy figure per-minute.  Check out the video below because it walks through everything we know about how the President travels and it’s incredibly interesting:

I still think it’s a bit crazy to have all of that support staff on every trip but then again it’s the President of the United States so it’s hard to argue against anything that keeps him/her safe.  What do you think?

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