Security to Be Intense(ly Expensive) on Obama's Africa Trip
Trip could cost between $60 million and $100 million
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 14, 2013 2:05 PM CDT
President Barack Obama waves from the top of the steps of Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., June 12, 2013.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(Newser) – Barack Obama is set to take his first extended tour of sub-Saharan Africa this month—and it ain't gonna be cheap. Obama's security for the trip could cost as much as $100 million, according to planning documents obtained by the Washington Post. What's all that money going to pay for?

  • A Secret Service detail numbering in the hundreds.
  • An air-lift for 56 support vehicles, including 14 limousines.
  • A fighter jet contingent to patrol the airspace overhead.
  • Three truckloads of bulletproof glass, which will be airlifted in, and then affixed over the president's hotel room windows.
  • An aircraft carrier stationed off the coast, equipped with a full medical trauma center in case of an emergency.

Perhaps the craziest part: None of this is unusual for a presidential trip abroad, though sources familiar with the planning say this trip will be a tad more expensive than most. And it could have been worse: the Obamas originally planned to take a safari, which would have forced a special, sniper rifle-armed counterassault team to protect against lions and the like. That jaunt has since been cancelled, though they insist the Post's interest had nothing to do with it.