Bill Gertz in the Washington Times documents the Obama Extravagance on Parade in Europe.
Oh yeah, That’ll impress the other G20 members:
President Obama’s European visit this week has strained Air Force heavy-airlift capabilities and obliged the military to hire more foreign contractors to help resupply U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan, according to military sources.
The large delegation traveling with the president in Europe required moving several transports, including jumbo C-5s and C-17s, from sorties ferrying supplies to Afghanistan to European bases for the presidential visit, said two military officials familiar with the issue. They spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid any misunderstanding with White House officials.
The Air Mobility Command, part of the U.S. Transportation Command, was ordered to provide airlift for the president’s entourage of nearly 500 people, including senior officials, staff, support personnel, news reporters and some 200 Secret Service agents for the European visit, which began Tuesday in London.
To make up for the shortfall, the Air Force had to increase the number of Eastern European air transport contractors hired to fly Il-76 and An-124 transport jets into Afghanistan loaded with troop supplies, the two officials said.
The airlift crunch comes at a particularly difficult time, as the military is stepping up deliveries of supplies in advance of a surge of 21,000 U.S. troops.
One official said the problem was not only the vehicles and helicopters that were needed for presidential security, but also the unusually large number of people traveling with the president. The official said U.S. taxpayers are paying twice for airlift, once for Air Force jets that are not available for a war zone and again for foreign contractor aircraft that are.
Honest to God; I think I’m going to throw up. We’re paying the Russians for transport planes — because Rahm Emanuel needed 500 of his peeps to go to the G20 conference?
The spokesman also said budgets for Afghanistan and presidential travel come from different accounts. “The taxpayer does indeed pay for strategic lift for our warfighters in Afghanistan, but they also pay for presidential support,” he said. “These missions are distinctly separate and are therefore funded separately.”
Mr. Obama and his group, which includes medical personnel and food specialists, will spend eight days in Europe visiting five nations for the G-20, NATO and European Union summits and side visits to the Czech Republic and Turkey. After the first three days in Britain, the party will travel to Strasbourg, France, and Kehl, Germany, for NATO’s 60th anniversary summit before traveling to Prague on April 5 and then to Ankara and Istanbul, Turkey on April 6.
Capt. Aandahl would not say how many transports were used to move the presidential group, nor provide costs.
Yeah; I’ll Bet he wouldn’t. I wouldn’t either.
Definitely Change — but the “Hope” is that this doofus doesn’t bankrupt us in the process, while putting on his little Louis the 16th dog and pony show.