The president’s entourage, the most expensive & armed to the teeth

2 massive Boeing C17 cargo planes land at Ben-Gurion Airport, bringing 2 of the president’s ‘Marine 1’ helicopters, a number of Black Hawk helicopters, hundreds of security guards, and even a nuclear briefcase.

By Yoni Hirsch


President Barack Obama arrived in Israel on Wednesday, and he did not come alone. The president’s entourage contains more than 600 members, and includes senior government figures, advisers, journalists, secret service security guards, soldiers and technicians. Each member of the detachment is ready to be at the president’s side at every stop on his visit, fulfill his needs and, in an emergency, do anything that must be done.

Two massive C-17 planes landed on Tuesday, bringing Marine One, Black Hawk helicopters. – Photo: Reuters

Obama’s visit is the culmination of weeks of preparation, during which White House officials, security and logistics personnel arrived in Israel to fine-tune every aspect of the visit, down to the smallest detail. Two massive C-17 cargo planes landed in Ben-Gurion International Airport on Tuesday, bringing with them two Marine One helicopters for the president to use while traveling around the region, Black Hawk helicopters, the presidential limousine and a staggering amount of additional equipment.

An American Black Hawk helicopter at Ben-Gurion Airport on Tuesday. – Photo: GPO

After a formal ceremony at the airport upon arrival, Obama headed to Jerusalem in his helicopter. During his visit he will travel more than a few times in the impressive presidential convoy of about 60 vehicles, including armored cars, electronic warfare vehicles to counter missile threats, secret service vans, bomb disposal units and a squad of troops equipped with the latest weaponry, prepared to engage in combat if necessary.

One of the armored limousines in the presidential convoy for Obama’s visit. – Photo: Traffic Police Spokesperson

At the vanguard of the convoy are two armored limousines, each humbly nicknamed “the monster.” One of them will contain the U.S. president. Aside from being armored, little is known about the sophisticated limousines, which cost an estimated $300,000 each. What is known is that the limousines are protected from chemical and biological attacks and that the trunk carries packets of the president’s blood type.

The convoy includes one of the most famous pieces of technology in the world, the president’s nuclear briefcase, a 20-kilogram (44-pound) metal case which includes the secret codes required for the president to authorize a nuclear attack.

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