Being the US President is just as much about having friends, as it is about having enemies. In case of US President, security threats can come from various fronts such as individuals, drug cartels, religious entities, and hits sponsored by an enemy country. It explains why the President is always blanketed by heavy security all around. Presidential security has undergone significant upgrades over the years, as there have been four assassinations and two attempted assassinations.
Sometimes, it makes us wonder how safe is US President. Does the United States Secret Service that is responsible for Presidential security really has the tools and capabilities to protect the President? To answer such questions, here’s a quick look at the security apparatus of US President. Of course, not all security details are revealed in public domain for obvious reasons.
US Presidential security on land – Be it inside the country or abroad, US President is cocooned by multiple layers of security. Outer security layers are usually managed by local police and other security agencies. If the President is in a crowded place, some Secret Service personnel may themselves mingle in the crowd in plain clothes.
While travelling on road, all details are thoroughly analyzed. Intelligence inputs are sourced from various agencies to sniff out any possible plans of assassination. The US President travels in a heavily fortified bulletproof car that can even withstand grenade and IED blasts. It also comes with run-flat tires that can take the President to safety. The Secret Service also ensures that adequate blood supply is available to take case of any serious injuries to the President.
US Presidential security in air – For US President’s safety in air, specialized Air Force One aircrafts have been created. Most used are two Boeing 747-200B aircrafts that are highly customized. These have tail codes of 28000 and 29000. The primary objective of Air Force One is to provide a safe passage to the President to any part of the world.
Air Force One has mid-air refueling, allowing it to have unlimited travel range. It is equipped with special shields that protect against electromagnetic pulse. The planes have secure communications equipment, which can be used as a mobile command center. It is designed to play a key role in extreme situations, for example, if United States is under attack. Air Force One also has capabilities to deflect heat-seeking missiles by deploying chaff flare.
As is evident, the US President is quite safe in all aspects. For anyone trying to harm the US President, it will be a hugely challenging job. Things can go wrong only due to factors like intelligence failure, human error or an inside job. Even these will be rare, as Secret Service is likely to have created failsafe and alternatives into the security system of US President.