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SAM I Am: 89th Airlift Wing showcases Special Air Mission during tour

Air Force District of Washington Commander Maj. Gen. Ricky N. Rupp, middle, speaks with members of the 89th Aerial Port Squadron during an 89th Airlift Wing Immersion Tour on Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, Feb. 28, 2020. Rupp, and other leaders of AFDW and the 11th Wing were invited to the tour to help familiarize themselves with the mission and operations of the 89th Airlift Wing. Rupp is also the 320th Air Expeditionary Wing commander, a provisional unit of AFDW. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Kentavist P. Brackin)

Air Force District of Washington Commander Maj. Gen. Ricky N. Rupp, middle, speaks with members of the 89th Aerial Port Squadron during an 89th Airlift Wing Immersion Tour on Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, Feb. 28, 2020. Rupp, and other leaders of AFDW and the 11th Wing were invited to the tour to help familiarize themselves with the mission and operations of the 89th Airlift Wing. Rupp is also the 320th Air Expeditionary Wing commander, a provisional unit of AFDW. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Kentavist P. Brackin)

Members of the 89th Airlift Wing brief Maj. Gen. Ricky N. Rupp, Air Force District of Washington and 320th Air Expeditionary Wing commander, middle, on the wing’s various functions during an 89th AW Immersion Tour on Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, Feb. 28, 2020. During the tour, Rupp, and other AFDW and 11th Wing leaders received a wing mission briefing, visited the wing’s communication and aerial port squadrons, and a toured a C-32A aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Kentavist P. Brackin)

Members of the 89th Airlift Wing brief Maj. Gen. Ricky N. Rupp, Air Force District of Washington and 320th Air Expeditionary Wing commander, middle, on the wing’s various functions during an 89th AW Immersion Tour on Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, Feb. 28, 2020. During the tour, Rupp, and other AFDW and 11th Wing leaders received a wing mission briefing, visited the wing’s communication and aerial port squadrons, and a toured a C-32A aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Kentavist P. Brackin)

Lt. Col. Robert Cowan, 89th Communications Squadron commander, middle, and Chief Master Sgt. Alfred Wells, 89th CS superintendent, right, salute Air Force District of Washington and 320th Air Expeditionary Wing Commander Maj. Gen. Ricky N. Rupp during an 89th Airlift Wing Immersion Tour on Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, Feb. 28, 2020. The mission of the 89th CS includes operating, maintaining and defending continuous Department of Defense global air-to-ground and strategic communications systems and supporting the president, national leaders, combatant commanders, and the Special Air Mission operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Kentavist P. Brackin)

Lt. Col. Robert Cowan, 89th Communications Squadron commander, middle, and Chief Master Sgt. Alfred Wells, 89th CS superintendent, right, salute Air Force District of Washington and 320th Air Expeditionary Wing Commander Maj. Gen. Ricky N. Rupp during an 89th Airlift Wing Immersion Tour on Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, Feb. 28, 2020. The mission of the 89th CS includes operating, maintaining and defending continuous Department of Defense global air-to-ground and strategic communications systems and supporting the president, national leaders, combatant commanders, and the Special Air Mission operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Kentavist P. Brackin)

Lt. Col. Lisa Christensen, 89th Operations Support Squadron commander, right, briefs the capabilities of the C-32A aircraft to Maj. Gen. Ricky N. Rupp, Air Force District of Washington and 320th Air Expeditionary Wing commander, left, during an 89th Airlift Wing Immersion Tour on Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, Feb. 28, 2020. During the tour, Rupp, and other leaders of AFDW and the 11th Wing received a wing mission briefing, visited the wing’s communication and aerial port squadrons, and a toured a of the C-32A aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Kentavist P. Brackin)

Lt. Col. Lisa Christensen, 89th Operations Support Squadron commander, right, briefs the capabilities of the C-32A aircraft to Maj. Gen. Ricky N. Rupp, Air Force District of Washington and 320th Air Expeditionary Wing commander, left, during an 89th Airlift Wing Immersion Tour on Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, Feb. 28, 2020. During the tour, Rupp, and other leaders of AFDW and the 11th Wing received a wing mission briefing, visited the wing’s communication and aerial port squadrons, and a toured a of the C-32A aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Kentavist P. Brackin)

Col. Robby Hanovich, Air Force District of Washington and 320th Air Expeditionary Wing deputy commander, departs a C-32A aircraft during an 89th Airlift Wing Immersion Tour on Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, Feb. 28, 2020. The C-32A transports high-priority personnel and has the distinctive call sign “Air Force Two” when moving the vice president. It also transports the first lady, members of the cabinet, and Congress. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Kentavist P. Brackin)

Col. Robby Hanovich, Air Force District of Washington and 320th Air Expeditionary Wing deputy commander, departs a C-32A aircraft during an 89th Airlift Wing Immersion Tour on Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, Feb. 28, 2020. The C-32A transports high-priority personnel and has the distinctive call sign “Air Force Two” when moving the vice president. It also transports the first lady, members of the cabinet, and Congress. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Kentavist P. Brackin)

Lt. Col. Shelby Henry, right, 89th Aerial Port Squadron commander, briefs Air Force District of Washington and 320th Air Expeditionary Wing Commander Maj. Gen. Ricky N. Rupp, middle, regarding the activities of her squadron during an 89th Airlift Wing Immersion Tour on Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, Feb. 28, 2020. The 89th APS provides air transportation support for the president, national leaders, combatant commanders, and Special Air Mission operations 24/7. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Kentavist P. Brackin)

Lt. Col. Shelby Henry, right, 89th Aerial Port Squadron commander, briefs Air Force District of Washington and 320th Air Expeditionary Wing Commander Maj. Gen. Ricky N. Rupp, middle, regarding the activities of her squadron during an 89th Airlift Wing Immersion Tour on Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, Feb. 28, 2020. The 89th APS provides air transportation support for the president, national leaders, combatant commanders, and Special Air Mission operations 24/7. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Kentavist P. Brackin)

JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. -- Ever wonder what it takes to fly the president, vice president, first lady, and national and foreign dignitaries throughout the blue? The effort and precision happen 24/7 thanks to the 89th Airlift Wing members, who maintain the Special Airlift Mission (SAM), which represents the highest level of distinguished visitor travel and must meet stringent schedule and protocol requirements in a highly-visible environment.

Air Force District of Washington Commander Maj. Gen. Ricky N. Rupp took an immersion tour Feb. 28 for a firsthand look at the combat-ready force of more than 1,100 Airmen and civilians who provide airlift, logistics, aerial port and communications for the presidential administration, combatant commanders, and other senior military and elected leaders as tasked by The White House, the United States Air Force Chief of Staff, and Air Mobility Command.

The motto "SAM FOX" was derived from the initials of Special Air Missions and the phonetic pronunciation of the letter "F" for foreign. "Special Air Missions - Foreign" expresses the mission transporting DVs in four words.

The 89th Airlift Wing provides this service with 17 aircraft dedicated to the SAM.