Skip to content

The Pentagon Is Spending $34M to Redecorate Air Force Two

Aug. 17, 2018
3 min read
The Pentagon Is Spending $34M to Redecorate Air Force Two
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Sign up for our daily newsletter

The government is spending a lot of money to make Air Force Two look as sleek as Air Force One — for its passengers.

Boeing just got a contract for $16 million to renovate one of the jets typically used by the vice president to make it more like the president's on the inside. "The C-32A interior requirements are for an appearance more commensurate with presidential section of the VC-25A," the contract announcement on the Department of Defense's site said. Translation: The airplane that flies Mike Pence, First Lady Melania Trump and occasionally the president himself must look more like Air Force One.

The twin-engine C-32As are militarized versions of the Boeing 757s in wide use by all three US legacy airlines. The VC-25As, aka Air Force One, are the famous presidential version of the Boeing 747.

C-32s typically fly the vice president — and when that happens, they use the call sign Air Force Two — first lady, and secretary of state; they are also used by the president at destinations where the runway is too short to accommodate the much larger VC-25A. The defense secretary and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff occasionally use the C-32s as well.

The C-32 cabins feature interiors similar to that of commercial 757s, but with some key differentiators: The "first-class section" of each C-32 is outfitted with communications technology designed to help stay in contact with military commands. The next section features a couch that unfolds into a bed, as well as a table with seating on either side. Next, senior staffers have access to comfortable seats and conference tables, while traditional commercial-style seating accommodates crew and members of the press in the aft section of each plane, according to Defense One.

The $16 million being spent on spiffing up one of the C-32 comes on top of the $18 million spent last year to renovate another one. In total, that makes $34 million to refurbish two airplanes expected to be phased out soon — the Pentagon has already started the search for a replacement of the 25-year-old planes.

Air Force One is being replaced, too. The two VC-25As will be phased out in a few years, as soon as the two replacements are ready. The Pentagon is spending $3.9 billion to buy and bring up to military standard two Boeing 747-8s, the latest model of the Jumbo Jet. Last month, President Donald Trump formally announced plans to make Air Force One look more "American" with a red, white and blue color redesign.

Featured image by AFP/Getty Images

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers