Gates incensed about $300,000 NYC flyover
Gee - the bureaucrats, minions, operatives, flunkies and errand boys all knew about it. The only ones who didn't know about it were the Public, Obama and Bloomberg (uh, until he checked his Blackberry). Gates, "incensed" though he claims to be, DOES appear to have been aware of this event in advance, if you read closely.
Original at http://rawstory.com/08/news/2009/05/08/gates-incensed-about-300000-nyc-flyover/
WASHINGTON (AFP) — Defense Secretary Robert Gates expressed concern in a letter released Friday about the oversight of a bungled New York flyover by a spare presidential plane.
"I am concerned that this highly public and visible mission did not include an appropriate public affairs plan nor adequate review and approval by senior Air Force and DoD (Defense Department) officials," said Gates of the exercise which cost 357,000 dollars.
In a May 5 letter to lawmakers, Gates also said that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office and other state and local agencies were notified of the plans three days before the April 27 flight.
The flyover by one of President Barack Obama's official airplanes and two F-16 fighter jets sowed panic and outrage in New York and drew an angry salvo from Bloomberg, who said he was not informed of the sortie ahead of time.
"The mission was coordinated with FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) liaisons, Systems Operations Security team members, and traffic managers; New York air traffic control representatives; and Newark and LaGuardia tower supervisors," Gates said in the letter.
"On April 24, 2009 the FAA notified multiple agencies ofthe impending flight, including the US Park Police, NYC Mayor's Office, NYC Office of Emergency Management, NYC Police Department Operations, New Jersey State Police Regional Coordination Center, and several New Jersey area emergency operations centers," said Gates.
The letter, Gates also says that the overall cost for the mission ran to between 300,658 dollars and 328,835 for the presidential airplane and 28,177 for the fighter escort.
The US defense secretary said the mission was "a continuation training pilot currency sortie, and the crew flew a total of three hours, of which a portion was used to update the official photograph" of the presidential plane.
The flying photo op backfired badly, with New Yorkers fearing a repeat of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in which two hijacked airliners smashed into the World Trade Center towers, killing almost 3,000 people.
Obama himself was not on the aircraft, which is designated Air Force One when he is aboard.
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