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MSN News, March 15, 2017: Trump Force One Is Ready for Takeoff
Bloomberg News is reporting on the status of that Boeing contract to build two new Air Force Ones. As you recall, Trump had previously said in either a publicity stunt or out of ignorance, “I refuse to fly in a $4.2 billion airplane. I refuse”...“Costs are out of control, more than $4 billion..” “Cancel order!”
Of course as we now know, the only contract let at the time was $172 million contract to Boeing to study the capabilities of what the new Air Force One fleet of two planes should include and at what cost. Boeing executives have since met with Trump to discuss his concerns (and presumably educate him on what the costs entail). Those talks led, according to Bloomberg, to Boeing announcing "vague plans to reduce the plane’s cost, while heaping praise on Trump’s business acumen." That was enough for Trump to declare victory: “We got that price down by over $1 billion, and I probably haven’t spoken, to be honest with you, for more than an hour on the project.”
However, no one associated with the contract has any idea where Trump came up with the $1 billion. That seems to be consistent with Trump's modus operandi.
Anyway, for those interested, the article delves into much more than just the Air Force One contracts. The Marine One helicopter fleet is a whole different story of politics run amuck. I didn't know for example that the presidential helicopter squadron, known as HMX-1, contains 23 primary aircraft. And that when the president makes an overseas trip, three helicopters also go along to "serve as backups, fly staff, and function as decoys for would-be assassins".