Yesteryear Nov 1996
The major activity for November was the U.S Presidential visit to Port Douglas. With the stopover of President Clinton on the 22nd following his visit to Canberra, the Presidential circus arrived in FNQ. Earlier in the week prior there was numerous flights into Cairns of C-141 Starlifters and C-5 Galaxy’s of AMC plus a Special Air Mission (SAM) VC-137 (27000) bringing in secret service equipment, secure mobile communication suites, vehicles and a Presidential VH-60N chopper.
Both VC-25’s of SAM were in use (29000 as AF1) and 28000. SAM Gulfstream C-20B (60403) acted as the ‘hot ship’ used by the Secret Service, plus as an emergency ‘egress’ aircraft for POTUS, it parks remote and remains fully fuelled with APU running alternating with ground power.
As is usual a team of Special Operations personnel are in attendance and utilise the CH-53D Stallion helicopter, four of which were deployed from Hawaii, 157133/02 of HMH-362, 157741/07 (YH) 157742/09 (YH) both of HMH-463 plus 157135/04 (unknown unit). Interestingly, the VH-60N 163261 ‘Whitehawk’ was re-assembled in the former Ansett hangar at GA where the image was taken, it is operated by HMX-1 and uses c/s Marine 1 when POTUS is on board.
|Special Air Mission (SAM) VC-137 (27000)|
The White House press corps travelled on AF1 while media not sponsored for travel on the former used a Northwest DC-10-30 (N228NW) for its transport.
A memorable week at the Cairns Airport.
|CH-53D Stallion helicopter's|
|VH-60N 163261 ‘Whitehawk’|
Thanks to the late GAFLIKS for providing this Yestayear report.