Wednesday 24 January 2018

Obama’s indestructible limo gets stuck on Dublin ramp

A US Secret Service member cleans US President Barack Obama's limousine as he arrives for a meeting with the Taoiseach Enda Kenny at Farmleigh. Photo: Getty Images
Enda Kenny shows US President Barack Obama the use of a hurling stick as their wives Fionnuala Kenny and Michelle Obama look on following a meeting at Farmleigh. Photo: Getty Images
US President Barack Obama shakes hands with Taoiseach Enda Kenny during a meeting at the Farmleigh. Photo: Getty Images
US President Barack Obama, President Mary McAleese, Dr Martin McAleese, and First Lady Michelle Obama at Aras an Uachtarain. Photo: PA
President Mary McAleese greets US President Barack Obama at Aras an Uachtarain. Photo: PA
The signatures of US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are seen in a visitors book at Aras an Uachtarain. Photo: Getty Images
President Obama with his wife Michelle. Photo: PA
US President Barrack Obama and his wife Michelle land in Dublin Airport on Air Force One at the start of his visit to Ireland. Photo: PA
President Obama and his wife Michelle with Dan Rooney (centre), Patricia Rooney (2nd left), and Eamonn Gilmore (3rd right). Photo: PA

Edel O'Connell

President Barack Obama’s famous Bond style car ‘The Beast ‘ got dramatically stuck at the US Embassy in Dublin today.

The President and the first lady Michelle Obama were in the vehicle when it became trapped on an exit ramp as they were leaving following lunch with US Ambassador Dan Rooney.

The couple were forced to transfer from the vehicle to a second identical limousine to travel to a helicopter scheduled to bring them to his ancestral home in Moneygall, Co Offaly this afternoon.

The incident, which lasted for five to six minutes, sparked an immediate response from gardai and the President’s security detail. A minivan was pulled in front of ‘The Beast’ while new arrangements were put in place.

The couple then continued on their journey to the Phoenix Park to rendezvous with Marine One to helicopter to Offaly.

The $300,000 (€212,244) presidential limousine, known as 'The Beast' is fitted with night-vision cameras, reinforced steel plating and a tear-gas cannon.

'The Beast' has its own respiration system in case of chemical attack. The armoured petrol tank fills with foam if the car is hit to stop it from exploding.

It also houses a private phone system, so no matter what country Mr Obama is in, he can direct-dial America.

A multi-million dollar entourage of 500 staff, a fleet of decoy helicopters and amour-plated limousines accompany the President. His White House cavalcade -- complete with 200 Secret Service staff and a six-doctor medical team – are with him every minute of the day and night.

Air Force One, a Boeing 747-200B, is fitted with its own gym, electronic defence units and shielding to protect its communication devices from the radiation of possible nuclear blasts.

Among the officials on the flight is a military officer carrying America's nuclear missile launch codes.

A second 747 filled with staff and media flew behind his plane. Cargo planes carrying a fleet of helicopters arrived last week.

The planes also carry all food and drink for the trip and Mr Obama's road transport, which includes two, five-tonne, bullet proof Cadillac DeVilles and 30 other motorcade cars.

Mr Obama's helicopter, Marine One, is fitted with flares that can be fired to confuse heat-seeking missiles and always flies in groups containing several identical decoy helicopters.

While in town, Mr Obama will be guarded by more than 200 US Secret Servicemen -- easily identifiable by their shirt-cuff radios and Ray-Ban sunglasses.

And should anything befall him, a White House medical unit will be on hand to provide emergency care.

The team consists of surgeons, nurses and other medical personnel, and carries supplies of the blood type AB, Mr Obama's blood group.

At the same time, Mr Obama will be constantly minded by his personal aide, Reggie Love, who dials his BlackBerry and supplies him with snacks and Nicorette gum.

For mealtimes, a team from the White House kitchen will travel with Mr Obama to prepare all of his food.

Communication with the outside world will not be a problem -- Air Force One is equipped with 85 telephones, 19 televisions and computer suites so he is constantly connected.

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