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The Fascinating Anatomy of the Presidential Motorcade

When the President of the United States travels by car, the Presidential motorcade is both the safest and the riskiest convoy on the planet. This globe-trotting fleet of vehicles is basically a rolling, armored White House, complete with its own response force, communications office, press corps and medical facilities. All these vehicles are moved via USAF heavy-transports, such as C-17s, and those flights come at a steep cost.

The Presidential Motorcade consists of a wide variety of vehicles. Generally, the Presidential Motorcade is made up of the following components:

  • Route Car & Pilot Car – Which travel ahead of the motorcade checking the route and providing guidance.
  • Sweepers – Consisting of motorcycles and patrol cars clearing the way.
  • Presidential Limousine – This very heavy Cadillac is really an extremely survivable armored car. "The Beast" is outfitted with top-level ballistic armoring, night vision/infrared driving systems, a sealed cabin with an independent air supply capable of enduring a nuclear-biological-chemical attack, and even a supply of the President’s blood type. All of this is in addition to a state-of-the-art communications system.
  • Identical Limousine – At least one identical car always accompanies it, and sometimes many more. These cars are used as a backup as well a serving as decoys.
  • Additional Vehicles – Following the motorcade is the security detail SUV filled with heavily armed agents. There is an Electronic Countermeasures Vehicle so that if a threat is detected, smoke, chaff, and targeted jamming could disrupt an attack. Then there is the Press van, an ambulance in case there is an accident or attack and helicopters overhead to provide over-watch.

All the technology that goes into protecting the President is amazing and so is the price tag. It is estimated that the White House spends $350 million a year on the President’s transport. Just one trip costs $2,614 each and every minute to transport the leader of the free world.

Possible Preaching Angle:

On Christmas Day when the King of Kings and Lord of Lords came to earth there was no heavily armed security detail, high tech defensive systems, medical personnel, or press corps. Instead, his arrival was witnessed only by Mary and Joseph and a few humble shepherds. However, it was the costliest trip in history, since though he was rich, he became poor (2 Cor 8:9), he emptied himself and took the form of a servant (Phil. 2:6), and he left the glory and worship of heaven to be born in a stable (Luke 2:7).

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