US President Barack Obama’s first official visit to the UK has been planned in meticulous detail.
Barack Obama will have a team of medical staff and his own private chefs
during his visit to the UK for the G20 Summit - Photo: EPA
By Caroline Gammell
9:00AM BST 31 Mar 2009
White House officials visited Europe on least three occasions in the run up to the G20 summit to make sure everything runs like clockwork on Tuesday.
An estimated 500 people will make up Mr Obama’s entourage, including 200 secret service agents, as well as policy makers and support staff.
Only too aware of the assassination threat, the secret service team will sweep venues where he is staying for bugs, test food for poison and set up security equipment.
Permanently by his side will be Reggie Love, his personal aide, who exercises with the president and keeps a permanent supply of his favourite food and drinks to hand.
While on his five day trip, Mr Obama will have a team of chefs on hand to cook anything he desires, at any time.
A team of six fully trained medical staff will be permanently on call in case Mr Obama falls ill, or is injured. They carry supplies of his blood type AB.
He will fly to Britain on Tuesday on Air Force One, a modified Boeing 747. F16s often flank the large aircraft for added protection.
Capable of refuelling mid-air, Air Force One is built on three levels and has a gym, large office, conference room and medical suite. It can seat 75 people and has armoured glass in all its windows.
Cargo planes, such as C-17s, will carry all the transportation Mr Obama needs while in Europe. An estimated 35 vehicles, including cars and helicopters, will be brought to the UK for the presidential visit.
Mr Obama’s armour-plated limousine, nick-named The Beast, is strong enough to withstand a chemical attack.
Made of reinforced steel, aluminium and titanium, it has a raised roof and a completely sealed interior which acts as a “panic room”.
Its bullet-proof windows protect the driver who will have top-of-the-range GPS sat-nav at his disposal.
The tyres are designed to be driven upon even if they are punctured by bullets
Marine One, a VH-3D helicopter, will transfer Mr Obama from Air Force One after it lands at Stansted airport to the centre of London, to the US Ambassador’s residence near Regent’s Park.
It never flies alone for security reasons and is used alongside a number of decoy helicopters, designed to confuse potential terrorists.
The USS Theodore Roosevelt, which will be within a day’s sail of Britain during the G20 summit, comes equipped with an air wing of 90 aircraft including FA18 Super Hornet multi-role fighters and Sea Hawk helicopters capable of in-flight refueling.
The 90,000 ton super-carrier has completed a seven month tour supporting ground troops in Afghanistan where its aircraft flew 3,100 sorties dropping 60,000lbs of ordnance.
Mr Obama’s wife Michelle will have her own bodyguards, a secretary and press officer in her eight-string team.
For their inaugural trip, Mr and Mrs Obama have been granted a half hour private audience with the Queen at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday.
They will then take part in a reception at the palace for all the G20 leaders, which will also be attended by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.