President Barack Obama. (Photo: Evan Vucci, AP)
by David Jackson, USATODAY
Presidential trips are expensive, and President Obama's journey to Africa this month will in no way be an exception.
The Washington Post estimates that Obama's Africa trip could cost $60 million to $100 million, citing a person familiar with the details who cited previous presidential missions to Africa.
A more precise estimate is impossible because details about the president's security are classified.
"The infrastructure that accompanies the president's travels is beyond our control," said Ben Rhodes, Obama's deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, to the Post. "The security requirements are not White House-driven, they are Secret Service-driven."
Also reports the Post:
"Hundreds of U.S. Secret Service agents will be dispatched to secure facilities in Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania. A Navy aircraft carrier or amphibious ship, with a fully staffed medical trauma center, will be stationed offshore in case of an emergency.
"Military cargo planes will airlift in 56 support vehicles, including 14 limousines and three trucks loaded with sheets of bulletproof glass to cover the windows of the hotels where the first family will stay. Fighter jets will fly in shifts, giving 24-hour coverage over the president's airspace, so they can intervene quickly if an errant plane gets too close.
"The elaborate security provisions -- which will cost the government tens of millions of dollars -- are outlined in a confidential internal planning document obtained by The Washington Post.
"While the preparations appear to be in line with similar travels in the past, the document offers an unusual glimpse into the colossal efforts to protect the U.S. commander in chief on trips abroad."
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