Bush has a back-up or two for his jumbo
By Doug Conway
5:00 AM Wednesday Sep 5, 2007
George Bush arrives in Sydney last night. Photo / Reuters
Ever feel guilty about over-packing on your travels? George Bush will make you feel better.
The United States President, who arrived in Sydney last night, brought not one Jumbo jet, but three, as well as another two aircraft that carry aircraft. The President’s Jumbo has a back-up, and the back-up has a back-up.
Air Force One can jam enemy radar, and radar-guided missiles, and is equipped with flares to avoid heat-seeking missiles.
The Jumbos are carrying 700 of the President’s closest friends, including a doctor, nurse, personal chef and four cooks.
They are also carrying advisers, and it is clear the President will not be short of advice.
His entourage includes 50 White House political aides, 150 national security advisers and 200 specialists from other government departments.
POTUS, as he is known in Secret Service jargon (President Of The United States), is getting by with a mere 250 protective agents.
That doubtless would have been more if the First Lady was here too, but Laura Bush is back at home nursing a pinched nerve in her neck, a casualty of a hiking trip four months ago.
The President’s Jumbos look small alongside his gargantuan C17 Globemaster III air transports.
They carry the presidential chopper Marine One and a Black Hawk surveillance helicopter.
They are also bearing a fleet of cars that would do credit to a decent-sized business.
It is an understatement to say the President’s limo, Cadillac One, is bullet-proof. Its 12cm ballistic armour makes it anti-tank-grenade-proof.
It is sealed against chemical and biological attacks, too, which means it should just about block out the stench from Sydney’s Pyrmont fish markets.
The President’s men are believed to be bringing their own sniffer dogs.
They are bringing their own guns and bullets, too, believed to be the only delegation to get special dispensation.
That should shave a few dollars off Apec’s A$169 million security budget.
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