The official chopper of Donald Trump - Marine One - has arrived in Gujarat ahead of the US President's two day maiden visit to India. Trump is expected to use 'Marine One' to travel from the Motera Cricket Stadium in Ahmedabad to the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport to board Air Force One to travel to Agra to see Taj Mahal. Earlier, the US Hercules plane had brought cars and security equipment for Trump's three-hour visit to Gujarat.
Among the special modes of transportation reserved for the President of the United States, Marine One is a preferred alternative to the motorcades, which bear humongous costs both economically and logistically.
Here are a few facts about the Marine One and how it is designed to ferry the US President in the US and outside the US:
- The primary motive of the helicopter is to connect the US President to Air Force One, the official aircraft which carries the president of the US for longer journeys. The Marine One is a preferred form of president's transportation over the motorcade.
- Only four pilots from the HMX-1 squadron (the squadron responsible for the transportation of the president and vice president of the United States, heads of states and other VIPs) have the honor of flying the Marine one.
- The President on board the Marine One is always greeted by a marine in full dress no matter where the helicopter lands under the sun. According to Bruce Babbitt, a politician from US state of Arizona, President Clinton, in his final days of office, once landed in a remote area near the Grand Canyon and found a Marine waiting on the rock ready to salute him.
- The Marine One flies with as many as 5 identical helicopters. One helicopter carries the President and the other act as decoys to deter possible threats against the President. They fly in a varying formation throughout the flight to keep the helicopter with the President as obscure as possible. The technique is referred to as the presidential “shell game".
- The plane is designed to accommodate as many as 14 passengers. The cabin noise is reduced to an extent that the President can speak in a normal tone.
- Marine One is transported mainly by C-17 Globemaster or C-5 Galaxy military transport planes.
- Marine One is equipped with standard military anti-missile countermeasures.