Executive One is the call sign designated for any United States civil aircraft when the President of the United States is on board. Typically, the President flies in military aircraft that are under the command of the Presidential Airlift Group, which include Air Force One, Marine One, Navy One, and others.
The Presidential Airlift group is part of Air Mobility Command's 89th Airlift Wing, based at Joint Base Andrews (formerly Andrews Air Force Base) near Camp Springs, Maryland in Prince George's County. On December 26, 1973, to "set an example for the rest of the nation during the current energy crisis" and to "demonstrate his confidence in the airlines", then-President Richard Nixon became the only sitting president to travel on a regularly scheduled commercial airline flight when he flew on a United Airlines DC-10 from Washington Dulles International Airport to Los Angeles International Airport. A Nixon aide carried a suitcase-sized secure communication device on board the plane, so that the President could remain in contact with Washington in the event of an emergency.
If the president's family members are aboard, but not the president himself, the flight can, at the discretion of the White House staff or Secret Service, use the callsign Executive One Foxtrot. 'Foxtrot' is the phonetic alphabet designation for the letter 'F', with that being the first letter of 'family'.
On January 20, 2009, the military helicopter that normally has the call sign "Marine One" was assigned the "Executive One" call sign when it took on George W. Bush, whose term as president had just expired. Executive One was also used as the call sign for the helicopter used to transport Barack Obama on January 20, 2017 after his presidency ended.
Executive Two is the call sign designated any United States civil aircraft when the Vice President of the United States is on board. Typically, however, the Vice President flies in military aircraft that are under the command of the Air Mobility Command's 89th Airlift Wing, based at Joint Base Andrews in Prince George's County, Maryland.
One notable exception was when Nelson Rockefeller was named Gerald Ford's Vice President in 1974. He owned a Gulfstream airplane that he preferred to the DC-9 that was then being used as Air Force Two. Being a private plane, the Gulfstream's call sign was Executive Two when Rockefeller was on board.
On February 2, 2000, a bill that would stop abortion protesters from being able to avoid paying fines by filing for bankruptcy was on the Senate agenda. Very shortly before the actual vote, it became clear that there might be a tie, requiring the Vice President to cast the tie breaker. A US Airways Shuttle flight was the fastest way to get from New York City, where Vice President Al Gore was, back to the Capitol. As it turned out, his vote was not needed.
If the Vice President's family members are aboard, but not the Vice President himself, the flight can optionally use the callsign Executive Two Foxtrot just like Executive One Foxtrot.
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