Air Force One's New Fridges Will Cost Taxpayers $24M

'We would have been impeached,' tweets former Obama adviser
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 27, 2018 1:40 PM CST
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump, left, board Air Force One at Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, Fla., Monday, Jan. 15, 2018, to travel to Washington.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

(Newser) – President Trump has been critical of costs associated with Air Force One in the past, calling them "out of control" just before taking office, CNN reports. So it's unclear how he feels about the $23.6 million contract the US Air Force signed with Boeing last month to replace two of the presidential plane's refrigerators. Experts tell Defense One this isn't a case of Boeing making a hefty profit off American taxpayers but rather a result of requirements placed on Air Force One by the Air Force and White House Military Office. The two refrigeration units being replaced came with Air Force One in 1990 and are different from at-home refrigerators and the "coolboxes" found in other planes. Air Force spokesperson Ann Sefanek says the units' "reliability has decreased with failures increasing."

Air Force One has five "chillers" with 26 total compartments for keeping food cold and frozen. Those chillers need to store enough food to feed Air Force One's passengers and crew for weeks without resupplying—about 3,000 meals. Stefanek says the two new units will provide "nearly 70 cubic feet" of refrigeration and freezing. The nearly $24 million bill will cover design, manufacturing, installation, and testing. Still, one former senior adviser to President Obama tweets they "would have been impeached" if they spent $24 million on refrigerators. The Guardian notes that money could fund about eight weekend visits to Mar-a-Lago by Trump or two months of presidential security at Trump Tower in New York City. The fridge replacement project is expected to be completed by October 2019.

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