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

(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.

President Barack Obama waves from the top of the steps of Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., June 12, 2013.
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)
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