An Air Force C-32A landed at Juneau International Airport on Friday as part of a training flight. The C-32A, one of four in the world operated by the 89th Airlift Wing, is often the transport for the vice president or other VIPs. (Courtesy photo / Heather Holt)

An Air Force C-32A landed at Juneau International Airport on Friday as part of a training flight. The C-32A, one of four in the world operated by the 89th Airlift Wing, is often the transport for the vice president or other VIPs. (Courtesy photo / Heather Holt)

Vice presidential plane visits Juneau for training flight

No VIPs were aboard the aircraft, which stayed less than a day.

This story has been updated with the correct reason for the training flight. It was not a security training flight.

One of the government’s VIP transport planes visited Juneau on Friday on a training flight, the airport manager said in an email.

The C-32A, a modified Boeing 757-200 best known as the plane used by America’s vice presidents, was here on a training flight, said an Air Force public affairs specialist.

“The purpose of the trip to Juneau was for the aircrew to perform proficiency training during Off Station Training mission otherwise known as an OST,” said Tech Sgt. Kentavist Brackin, an Air Force public affairs specialist with the 89th Airlift Wing, in an email. “There were no distinguished visitors onboard.”

An Air Force C-32A landed at Juneau International Airport on Friday as part of a training flight. The C-32A, one of four in the world operated by the 89th Airlift Wing, is often the transport for the vice president or other VIPs. (Courtesy photo / Heather Holt)

An Air Force C-32A landed at Juneau International Airport on Friday as part of a training flight. The C-32A, one of four in the world operated by the 89th Airlift Wing, is often the transport for the vice president or other VIPs. (Courtesy photo / Heather Holt)

The aircraft is only known as Air Force 2 if the vice president is aboard.

Initially delivered to the Air Force in 1998, there are only four C-32As in service, according to the 89th Airlift Wing, whose 1st Squadron is the sole operator of the aircraft. The 89th Airlift Wing also operates the VC-25A, a modified 747-200 that serves the president. The president sometimes flies in the C-32A when the trip involves an airport too small for a 747.

[Police investigating early-morning gas station robbery]

“I know some folks that came out to see the aircraft thought there were VIPs on board because we were closing off the inner road (Livingston Way). However, the reason we closed it was due to traffic blocking the medevac hangars,” said Juneau International Airport manager Patty Wahto in an email. “We had medevac personnel trying to drive into their hangar (for a medevac flight) and needed to keep the inner road clear for ingress/egress of local traffic only.”

The aircraft was on the ground for about 17 hours, Wahto said, as scheduled.

The aircraft, configured as a high-priority personnel transport, is modified to carry people like the vice president, cabinet secretaries or the first spouse. Built with a single stateroom aboard, as well as an office, the aircraft has enhanced threat detection capabilities and advanced avionics, according to the Air Force’s fact sheets.

The plane also carries a comprehensive communications suite so passengers can be in touch at all times, according to the fact sheets. With a crew of 16, the aircraft has a range of 5,500 nautical miles with a full fuel load.

The aircraft departed from Juneau Saturday morning.

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at (757) 621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

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