President Donald Trump said it was a great honor to fly on the executive Marine One helicopter, in a speech to Marines on Friday.
“It’s an incredible privilege to take that flight,” he said, noting that there were “few sights more awe-inspiring” than riding the helicopter past the national monuments and landing at the White House.
Trump delivered a speech to the Marines of Helicopter Squadron One, the group that flies and maintains the presidential helicopter. He thanked all the Marines in the helicopter squadron for their hard work to keep his travel safe.
“A Marine is often the last person I see when leaving the White House and the first upon my return. Nothing is more reassuring,” he said.
Trump paid special attention to his chief of staff, Gen. John Kelly, who also made some remarks to the group of Marines.
“Best job I ever had, you’ve heard me say it before, being a sergeant in the Marines,” Kelly said to the group. “Second best job, this one.”
Trump admitted that in his previous life as a billionaire, he had been “spoiled” by traveling on many different helicopters.
“By the way, how good is that sucker with all of those moving parts?” he asked later. “Is that good stuff? Huh? Is that good?”
Marine One, a VH-3 Sea King, has served as the presidential helicopter since 1962. A new H-92A Sikorsky helicopter is scheduled to replace the old one and go into service in 2020.
The squadron gave him a hat from their group, which Trump said he would be “proud” to wear.
When he returned to the White House, he was wearing the hat when he departed Marine One and entered the White House.