Marine One Spending Under Fire
by Mike Krumboltz
President Obama has talked tough about the need to shed wasteful spending. But will he practice what he preaches? His one-time rival, Sen. John McCain, brought up a pricey presidential project that seems a bit unnecessary — a fleet of 28 new Marine One helicopters that will cost taxpayers around $11.2 billion.
At a recent summit to cut the federal deficit, Sen. McCain suggested that if President Obama wants to help the economy, perhaps he should consider canceling his order. Obama replied that he's already looking into it. Obama then joked that perhaps he's been unknowingly deprived all his life, but his current Marine One chopper seems just fine to him. CNN is reporting that the new helicopters, which were originally ordered by President George W. Bush, are now on hold (though not officially cancelled...yet).
Naturally, all this talk of gazillion-dollar equipment has people searching. Folks are desperate to know more about the fancy helicopters, what they can do, and why they cost such an exorbitant sum of cash. Queries immediately surged on "marine one photos" and "why is it called marine one." Regarding the second inquiry: It's called Marine One only when the president is aboard.
As for why the president needs 28 of them — apparently, it's a safety precaution. When flying in Marine One, identical choppers travel next to the president's ride. Trickery throws off the bad guys.
But why in the world do these contraptions cost $400 million each? After all, isn't a helicopter just a helicopter? Apparently not. The Washington Post explains that the proposed fleet would be outfitted with "cutting-edge communications equipment, antimissile defenses and hardened hulls." Oh, and a kitchen. You can't forget that.
"Proelium Comminus Auctoritate" "Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel is a muzzle flash."
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