Flying the President
Published August 17, 2020
Providing fast, safe, and reliable air transportation for the President of the United States is an important US Air Force mission. The President’s ability to travel all over the world at short notice is critical to projecting America’s diplomatic, military, and economic power.
“Perfection is Our Standard” — is the motto of the 89th Airlift Wing. Flying the President is a no-fail mission that requires a dedicated team of professionals from a wide range of specialties. Every service member chosen for this prestigious duty is carefully selected for expertise in their respective field.
Pilots, navigators, communications specialists, stewards and flight attendants, maintainers, support personnel, and security all work in concert to achieve a singular mission: to provide fast, safe, and reliable worldwide air transportation for the President of the United States.
The 89th Airlift Wing stationed at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland is responsible for providing airlift for the President, senior executive staff, high-ranking government officials, and foreign dignitaries. Their unique mission is referred to as “SAM FOX.” It is derived from the initials of Special Air Missions (SAM) and the phonetic word, “Fox,” for the letter "F" in Foreign. Their motto is Experto Crede or “Trust One Who Has Experience.”
The 89th Airlift Wing’s Presidential Airlift Group (PAG) operates and maintains Air Force One. The PAG was first founded in 1944 as the Presidential Pilots Office. Since 2001, the PAG has operated as a separate operational flying unit solely responsible for transporting the President. The women and men of the PAG are an elite team dedicated to accomplishing their no-fail mission of transporting the President anywhere in the world, safely and on time.