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Old 05-03-2004, 04:35 PM   #1
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USAF "Silver Bullet" Mission

I thought I’d share an interesting Airstream “one-of-a-kind” story with everyone, and I think you will find it interesting. I stumbled on this by sheer accident.

As a member of the US Armed Forces, I travel to many different places, meet interesting people, and sometimes discover things I never would have dreamed about. On a recent visit to the 514th Communications Squadron at McGuire AFB, New Jersey, I received a briefing which mentioned a “Silver Bullet” mission which involved a modified Airstream trailer. Of course, this aroused my interests, so I asked for more details.

After some discussion, I was shuttled off and introduced to a young man named, Andrew Bennett, a 1st Lieutenant in the USAF. He was the officer in charge of the Airborne Communications Branch of the 621 Air Mobility Operations Squadron, which supports the “Silver Bullet” mission.

At first, he didn’t seem to really understand why I was so interested in the mission; but told me briefly what the mission was about, introduced me to his staff, and showed me a few pictures of his very “high visibility” mission. I quickly explained the reason for my enthusiasm and interest, and I introduced him to the AirstreamForums website as a testament to my following. With that, he offered to give me and my visiting staff a tour of the “Silver Bullet.”

As a new Airstream Motorhome owner and Forums subscriber, anything Airstream interest me; as an Air Force Communications and Information officer, anything gee-whiz, high-tech comm stuff can get my blood flowing as well. So this was a double-whammie for me to be touring an "Air Force Airstream Comm Mission"—Wowwww!!

At the designated time, our group showed up at a hangar where we were greeted by 1Lt Bennett who provided a walk-thru, guided tour. Here is some basic "UNCLASSIFIED" information about the mission that I’d like to share with everyone:

In 1991, the USAF Research Lab integrated a slightly modified Airstream trailer and a high-tech communications module together. The Airstream was sectioned into three separate modules and further modified for easy transport aboard US military aircraft; no wheels, no towing tongue, no topside environmental systems, no flammable fuel devices, and modified holding tanks. The unit is bolted and strapped down on standard Air Force cargo pallets for rapid and easy up/down load using standard Air Force Aerial Port loading systems. The “Silver Bullet” will only fit on specially modified C-17 Transport and KC-10 Tanker aircraft that are uniquely capable carrying and supporting the system.

As one would expect, the Airstream provides a variety of creature comforts such as a bathroom, shower, galley, sitting and sleeping areas. This USAF took it one step further by providing an integrated communications system capable of global reach, high-level, secure voice/data, and video teleconferencing. The transport aircraft are equipped with specialized communications interfaces to support the communications systems.

The capabilities of the “Silver Bullet” offer unique communications support and comfortable travel accommodations to high-ranking government officials and other very important persons. Some of the government executives have been the Secretary of State, Secretary of the Air Force, and a select few military commanders who use the capability more frequently to stay in touch with the White House; other recent distinguished guests include Drew Carey and Robin Williams, who traveled over to entertain and visit with our troops in Iraq and the Middle East.

There are two USAF “Silver Bullet” packages in existence; one at McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey, and one at Yokota Air Base, Japan. McGuire’s package is maintained by the 605th Air Maintenance Squadron, Special Missions Branch, and operated by the 621st Air Mobility Operations Squadron, Airborne Communications Branch. Yokota’s package is maintained and operated by the 730th Air Mobility Squadron.

Following are a few pictures of the USAF Silver Bullet Mission, compliments of 1Lt Bennett. Enjoy!
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Old 05-03-2004, 04:43 PM   #2
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thanks for that post Lee....it's great to see how our American icon is used by our military and others.Its like seeing the NASA motorhome and the shots of Kennedy and the Airstream trailers. Great stuff. Makes me proud to own one.
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Old 05-03-2004, 07:42 PM   #3
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Where's the $500 flamingo
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Old 11-23-2004, 07:29 PM   #4
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AS Life article

Rich,

THis is the one that should get into Airstream Life...would be neat researched.

Rob
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Old 11-24-2004, 06:04 AM   #5
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one would surmise it is a 34 ft...eh?
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Old 11-24-2004, 01:04 PM   #6
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I remember a thread I started a year ago :"airstream comfort for generals" & I always wondered what it looked like.
Thanks for sharing those amazing pics. (they should know better, those straps & nets will harm the clearcoat )

Ron
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Old 11-24-2004, 03:13 PM   #7
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Smile Silver Bullet Golden Eggs

I like TinHut's suggestion about the $500 Flamingos. I need to practice my pitch....LOL.

Glad you all enjoyed these photos. It was a thrill for me to see this.

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Old 05-19-2005, 10:22 PM   #8
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Hmmm, no wheels for this~!
Did we get short changed here????
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Old 03-04-2007, 05:18 PM   #9
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Cheney's Airstream

Did we all see the flying Airstream?

KRT Wire | 02/28/2007 | Spirit of Strom Thurmond carries Cheney into, out of hot spots - 29k - Mar 2, 2007
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Old 03-04-2007, 05:46 PM   #10
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Check out http://www.airforums.com/forum...ion-11165.html. BTW, it's not Cheney's (no politics intended...) but seen as former budget excess.

Few Google sources except: http://www.dtic.mil/descriptivesum/Y...e/0207423F.pdf
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Old 03-04-2007, 06:00 PM   #11
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Okay, it's getting easier... Secretaries of Defense Gates & Perry mentioned:
21st AMOS, Silver Bullet bring command, control to sky
Gates Talks Tough on Iran -- TIME
ONE-ON-ONE
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Old 03-04-2007, 08:13 PM   #12
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Impressive how creative people get with Airstreams. I wonder what other things are being done with them that we don't know about just due to circumstances of simply not being aware. I found this extremely interesting. I know in the fifites or sixties there were some used by senior government but this is about the neatest.

Thanks
Barry
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Old 03-04-2007, 08:21 PM   #13
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I seem to remember a pic around the forum someplace of JFK standing next to one in the southwest. I think it was going to be used for him to escape the heat or some such. Seems to be a lot of "specialty" trailers around, eh?

Jim
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Old 09-13-2007, 06:59 PM   #14
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If that's the army airstream, this must be the Airforce model.
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