OBAMA: THE TOUR; THE LONDON SUMMIT 2009 STABILITY GROWTH JOBS COUNTDOWN TO THE G20 SUMMIT 5 DAYS TO GO It's Code Renegade. We Join All the President's Men and Women Barack's Coming ..with Company

The Mirror (London, England), March 28, 2009 | Go to article overview

OBAMA: THE TOUR; THE LONDON SUMMIT 2009 STABILITY GROWTH JOBS COUNTDOWN TO THE G20 SUMMIT 5 DAYS TO GO It's Code Renegade. We Join All the President's Men and Women Barack's Coming ..with Company


Byline: BY ANTON ANTONOWICZ US CORRESPONDENT

ROLL UP, roll up, the pounds 20million White House Flying Circus is coming to Britain.

Next week, Barack Obama's first overseas trip as President sees him meeting the Queen before joining 19 world leaders at the G20 summit on Thursday in London's Docklands. Barack (Secret Service codename Renegade) and First Lady Michelle (codename Renaissance) then fly to France, Germany and the Czech Republic.

Here we break down the amazing organisation, high-tech gadgetry and fleet of security and helpers who are coming along for the ride...

The Entourage

AT least 500 officials will accompany Obama on his trip... and then there's the back-up staff.

Apart from the 200 or so Secret S ervice personnel, there's the Service's Counter-Assault Team, the White House Militar y Office, the White House Transportation Agency, the White House Medical Unit, the Marine Corps Helicopter Squadron, the State Department Presidential Travel Support Service, the US Information Agency, the Immigration and Naturalization Service and the Customs Service.

And, if that's not enough, throw in the kitchen sink, or the White House Mess - the chefs and ancillary staff who prepare the presidential nosh.

Washington justifies this vast production because, as one official said: "America is still the sole superpower.

And the President must have the ability to handle any crisis, anywhere, anytime . When the President travels, the White House travels with him, right down to the car he drives, the water he drinks, the gasoline he uses, the food he eats."

First Lady Michelle will have eight staff, including a secretary, press officer and her personal bodyguards.

So brace yourselves as this mega-cavalcade hits Blighty....

The Inside Team

APART from aides and administration members, there's 6ft 5in Reggie Love - a man described by Obama as "the kid brother I never had".

Personal aide Love, 27, works out with Obama at the start of the day. And, rarely away from the President's side, they often unwind at the end of the day by watching TV sports.

Love is also on hand if Obama needs pens, Nicorette gum, toothbrushes, breath freshners, throat lozenges, water, tea and aspirins.

Airlift Group

AS WE LL as maintaining and operating Air Force One, this outfit also flies the massive US Air Force C-17 transporter which takes the presidential limo and helicopter, plus a military ambulance, armoured cars for the Counter-Assault Team and a special "Mission Impossible" communications van.

Recent reports claim that 20 jets have been set aside for his 1,000-strong delegation due to attend the pan-American Summit in the Caribbean next month .

Medical Unit

THE White House Medical Unit provides round-the-clock care and cover for the president and vice president.

It contains surgeons, nurses, assistants and is headed by Navy Captain Dr Jeff Kuhlman, right.

The unit trains for emergencies with secret service agents and rides in a decoy limo. It is also ordered to avoid the "kill zone" that surrounds the president and carry a stocked medical bag, including supplies of Obama's AB blood group - the same as that of President Kennedy.

The WHM U is staffed by six physicians, usually from the Army, Navy and Air Force.

Marine One

THE helicopter that will transfer Obama from Stansted Airport, Essex, to the American Ambassador's residence in Regent's Park, London.

The VH-3D "flying office" is often used instead of motorcades, which can be dearer and logistically difficult. It always flies in groups with identical decoy helicopters . …

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