Posted tagged ‘Air Force One’

Director of White House Military Office Resigns

May 8, 2009

An Air Force flyover that caused panic on the streets of New York last month cost U.S. taxpayers as much as $357,000 and has left one White House employee without a job.

From MSNBC:

On Friday, President Barack Obama accepted the resignation of Louis Caldera, director of the White House Military Office.

The president was said to have been furious about the incident and had ordered an internal review. The mission had been approved by Caldera, who had apologized.

Also on Friday, in a letter to Sen. John McCain, Defense Secretary Robert Gates provided requested details of the incident.

The cost of a jumbo jet that is used as the president’s plane Air Force One was estimated between $300,658 and $328,835.

The cost of two accompanying F-16 jets was $28,177 for a total of $357,012, Gates said.

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Who OK’d the New York City Flyby?

April 28, 2009

CNN is reporting that a former Homeland Security adviser blasted the White House Military Office’s photo shoot that sent a low-flying Boeing 747 over Manhattan, accusing the office’s director of “felony stupidity.”

What was he thinking? Did he not realize that this would cause panic in the streets of New York?

From CNN:

Fran Townsend, who advised President George W. Bush for more than three years, spoke the day after a YouTube video showed panicked New Yorkers scrambling as the plane, tailed by its F-16 escort, screamed overhead.

“It was crass insensitivity,” Townsend said of the Monday flyby. “I’d call this felony stupidity. This is probably not the right job for Mr. Caldera to be in if he didn’t understand the likely reaction of New Yorkers, of the mayor.”

Louis Caldera, director of the White House Military Office, quickly apologized for the incident after the planes prompted workers and residents to evacuate buildings in New York and New Jersey.

“Last week, I approved a mission over New York. I take responsibility for that decision,” Caldera said. “While federal authorities took the proper steps to notify state and local authorities in New York and New Jersey, it’s clear that the mission created confusion and disruption.”

Air Force One Photo Shoot Brings Back Memories of September 11

April 27, 2009

A photo shoot involving a 747 used as Air Force One and two fighter jets flying at low altitude led to hundreds of 911 calls from residents and workers in Lower Manhattan this morning.

Can we say memories of 9/11!

Credit: Jason McLane/Associated Press

Credit: Jason McLane/Associated Press

From the Associated Press:

John Leitner, a floor trader at the New York Mercantile Exchange Building, said workers received no official prior announcement about the exercise. He said everyone panicked when they saw the low-flying planes and began running out of the building, mere blocks from the former World Trade Center site, around 10 a.m.

About 1,000 workers gathered along the Hudson River until a security officer with a bullhorn told them it was a planned exercise. Workers in other office buildings also reportedly spilled out into the street.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the government was conducting a military photo op involving two Air Force F-16 jets and the 747. It said it notified city law enforcement about the mission.