Tag Archives: Marine One

Take a rare ride on Marine One: what it’s like to travel aboard President’s chopper

When President of the U.S. travels aboard the VH-3D (or any other chopper operated by the USMC HMX-1 – Marine Helicopter Squadron One), the helicopter uses the radio callsign “Marine One” by which the aircraft is known.

Here’s a rare behind the scenes video showing POTUS chopper, the only one belonging to a head of a state to be carried aboard to follow the president in its visits.

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Photo: President Barack Obama inside a CH-47 in Afghanistan (without flak jacket)

Just released by the White House, this photograph, taken on May 1, at Bagram airfield, shows Barack Obama talking with Ambassador Ryan Crocker aboard Marine One moments before the helicopter took off to bring the President, just arrived from Andrews AFB on board the Air Force One, to the Afghan Presidential Palace in Kabul.

Seated next to the President, from left, are Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough and Chief of Staff Jack Lew.

Noteworthy neither Obama nor Crocker wear a flak jacket.

Marine One” is the designation and radio callsign used by any helicopter with the POTUS on board. However, it is quite unlikely that the helicopter used this easily recognizable radio callsign for the dangerous trip in Afghanistan.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

If you thought the Presidential helicopter had tinted windows, you were wrong.

The following AP picture took me by surprise. Taken on Apr. 27 at Andrews AFB, shows Barack Obama through the window of the Presidential chopper.

Image credit: AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

I’ve always thought most VIP vehicles, cars and helicopters had tinted windows. First of all because they are cool. Second, for quite obvious security reasons: even if those are bulletproff windows, you might not want a sniper know where the very important person is sitting.  However, he might still guess his position, since interiors are very well known.

For instance, even if Obama can move inside the cabin of the VH-3D operated by the USMC HMX-1 (Marine Helicopter Squadron One), we can assume he will sit with his seat belt fastened at take off and landing either on the right or left Presidential seats that you can clearly identify by looking at the pictures published on the White House Flickr gallery.

Anyway, whether it is safe or not (most probably it is, otherwise it would not be that way), as a matter of fact, the Marine One (from the callsign the helicopter uses when the President of the U.S. is on board), has no tinted windows.

The most interesting, dramatic (recent) helicopter pictures from all around the world

In the image below, a pair of Alaska Army National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters (in an interesting configuration including snow pads) prepare to land at the Alaska Army National Guard Army Aviation Support Facility in Nome, Alaska, on Apr. 17, after supporting exercise Arctic Care 2012 operations in Brevig Mission, Alaska. Arctic Care is a recurring joint military medical readiness and logistics training exercise, providing medical care to underserved populations in remote areas of Alaska.

DoD photo by Maj. Guy Hayes, U.S. Air Force/Released

Marine One with U.S. President Barack Obama on board lands into the South Lawn of the White House on Apr. 18 at the end of a day trip to Ohio and Michigan.

Image credit: Getty Images

Taken in a remote jungle region in southern Peru, Cuzco, on Apr. 17, the following picture shows the helicopter wreckage of police officer Nancy Flores, killed during an armed encounter with Shining Path rebels. The group is responsible for the kidnapping of 36 gas pipeline workers who were released on April 14 and has participated in the killings of four police and military officers during the rescue missions of the hostages in the remote jungle region around the Ene and Apurimac valleys (VRAE) in southeastern Peru.

Image credit: Reuters

Below, Soldiers from The Royal Regiment of Scotland (5 SCOTS) carried by a Chinook helicopter during the 16 Air Assault Brigade Exercise Joint Warrior at West Freugh Airfield, Stranraer, Scotland on Apr. 16. The Airborne Task Force (ABTF) used a combination of parachute, air assault and Tactical Air Landings (C130 Hercules) to seize and secure the airfield at West Freugh during the JW exercise that was supported by RAF tactical planes, Joint Helicopter Force’s Apache, Chinook, and RN Sea King as well as several US, French aircraft.

Image credit: PETER MUHLY/AFP/Getty Images

Below, a Colombian police chopper overflies Cartagena, Colombia, prior to the arrival of President Barack Obama and Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos for a land titling event for Afro-Colombian communities on Apr. 15.

Image credit: AP Photo/Fernando Llano

The caption of the following image reads: “An Indian firefighter looks on near a Schweizer helicopter that made an emergency landing on the rooftop of a residential building in Bangalore on April 12, 2012. A trainee helicopter pilot made an emergency landing on the rooftop of an apartment building in a busy residential district in southern India on Thursday after developing engine trouble.”

Image credit: STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images

A view from inside a helicopter performing armed overwatch of Cartagena, Colombia, on Apr. 12 for the sixth Summit of the Americas.

Image credit: AP Photo/Fernando Vergara

An Irish Coast Guard helicopter reaches Titanic Memorial Cruise ship MS Balmoral, in the Atlantic Ocean off Ireland on Apr 10, to perform a the medical evacuation of a man suffering from a heart ailment. The ship headed back 20 nautical miles towards Ireland in order to be in range for a helicopter tasked with evacuating a man with a non life threatening heart condition.

Image credit: REUTERS/Chris Helgren

Barely visible on the upper part of the picture, a firefighting helicopter drops water to extinguish fire atop the Europe’s tallest-to-be tower under-construction which burns in central Moscow, late on Apr. 2. Located some 2 km west of the Kremlin, when completed, the tower will be 360 meters (1150 feet) tall.

Image credit: LEV MASLOV/AFP/Getty Images

More G8 summit-related traffic in Rome

The following pictures were taken in the morning of Jul. 11, 2009, by Giovanni Maduli, who went again to Urbe airport to see the departure of the US Army CH-47s that escorted the “Marine One” VH-60N helicopters carrying the POTUS Obama during its visit in Rome and L’Aquila for the G8 summit. Noteworthy, the CH-47 “89-0143” sports a skull with cross bones badge underneath the fuselage (enlarged pic). A C-17 overflying Urbe airport during landing procedure at Rome Ciampino airport was also photographed: two Globemasters were scheduled to arrive in Ciampino on Jul. 11 to carry equipment used by the POTUS and his staff during official visits.