A flock of US military business jets descended in Southern California
While the Pentagon’s vast stable of tactical planes, bombers, cargo planes, helicopters and tankers attract the most attention, there is another fleet whose primary mission is to tour the brass. . These planes, from C-40 variants of the 737 to C-37 variants of the Gulfstream 5 family, along with smaller jets and turboprop engines, operate all over the world on any given day, but on a few occasions they migrate en masse to a common destination, like a flock of golden birds. That was certainly the case today as aircraft trackers spotted one military business jet after another descending in Southern California.
With the majority of landings at Point Mugu Naval Air Station and Van Nuys Airport, this mass executive transport movement, which included the Secretary of Defense aboard an E-4B, was spurred on by the Reagan National Defense Forum taking place today and tomorrow at the Reagan National Library in Simi Valley.
The flag-strewn event is a who’s who of the best players in the US military-industrial complex, including politicians, generals and executives from major defense-related companies. You can check out the impressive program of the event here.
Most of these people do not travel commercial.
14 of the Pentagon’s most prestigious VIP transports, mostly C-37s and a few C-40s, were involved in this sort of executive airlift. Here is the complete list according to the aircraft tracker and the contributor Matt Hartman:
There is always some debate to be had about the cost of such a trip on the taxpayer’s penny and the return on investment for non-critical events like this, especially in an age when teleconferencing and telecommuting can be done by anyone with a basic mobile phone. . These planes cost several thousand dollars an hour to operate and several tens of millions of dollars to acquire. Some cry foul when Pentagon executives complain about the lack of funds for critical combat capabilities while continuing to use these planes at all times. At the same time, for America’s top military leaders, time is very precious and some need access to secure communications in order to make the most of that time. The requirements for secure communications are seen as particularly critical for a few at the top, in an emergency. They also commonly travel with relatives, which can help justify the cost.
Either way, it’s amazing to see so many of these military owned and operated flying limos heading to the same place at the same time.
Now the big question is, has anyone thought about jet pooling?
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