Tuesday 22 January 2019

Melania Trump arrives in style at military base in Osprey aircraft

It is the first time a first lady has travelled in the aircraft which takes off and lands vertically.

First lady Melania Trump speaks during a Toys for Tots event at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling (Susan Walsh/AP)
First lady Melania Trump speaks during a Toys for Tots event at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling (Susan Walsh/AP)

By Steve Helber and Darlene Superville, Associated Press

Melania Trump has made history by flying in a V-22 Osprey aircraft during a visit to a pair of military bases.

The White House said it was the first time a first lady has flown in an Osprey.

The tilt-rotor aircraft takes off and lands vertically.

Mrs Trump flew from Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington to Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Hampton, Virginia, for an appearance.

First ladies usually do not take solo helicopter rides.

When they do travel by helicopter, they often are accompanying the president aboard Marine One, a more traditional aircraft.

In Virginia, Mrs Trump inspected the F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jet and addressed an audience of service members, noting that many had just returned from deployment.

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First lady Melania Trump , right, poses with an airman (Steve Helber/AP)

Some had been responding to natural disasters such as Hurricane Michael, which devastated Florida Panhandle communities.

The first lady said she was honoured to welcome them home and thanked them for “answering the call of duty”.

She exchanged high-fives with children from a local school and posed for selfies with some of those wearing military garb.

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An Osprey helicopter (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

She also spent time with the crew aboard the USS George H.W. Bush and toured part of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier named after the former president, who died in November.

Press Association

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