Vietnam didn't accept American choppers and snipers during Obama’s trip

By Doan Loan   May 27, 2016 | 11:11 pm PT
Instead, Vietnamese forces were in total control of security throughout U.S. President Barack Obama's three day visit earlier this week.

Before Obama’s trip to Vietnam, chopper Marine One was brought to Hanoi for escorting and emergency rescue on the president's route from the airport to the hotel and vice versa.

However, Vietnam’s air force didn’t accept this option, reassuring that aerial security would be kept during U.S. President’s trip. Marine One then stayed behind at Noi Bai Airport in case of emergency.


Marine One at Noi Bai International Airport. Photo by Reuters

Vietnam also didn't accept U.S. security’s request to have snipers deployed at vantages points around the airport and the venues on Obama’s agenda, or to check Vietnam’s diplomatic cars in the receiving delegation.

Military force in position to protect Air Force One

Two days before the trip, security force at Noi Bai Airport cooperated with local police to inspect the roads around the airport. Twice a day, Vietnamese soldiers searched for landmines and bombs.

Vietnam was in charge of aerial authority but allowed a U.S. secret agent in the control tower to monitor air traffic controllers.


Vietnamese soldiers search for landmines and bombs around U.S. President's residence. Photo by VnExpress/Ba Do

All doors were shut

Residents living along the road facing Noi Bai Airport were requested to keep all doors and windows shut.

Vietnam and the U.S. sent 200 security officers to the airport and hundreds of police officers have been mobilized to set up outer perimeter protection.

The U.S. security force also installed jamming devices to prevent remote activation of explosives. Both countries’ security forces used a secret frequency to communicate.


Fully armed American sniper on watch during President Obama's visits. Photo by VnExpress/Ba Do

After the U.S. President left the airport, the two Air Force Ones and Marine One chopper were put under strict protection.

Fuel for these aircrafts was thoroughly checked and sampled before and after pumping. The aircrafts were required to be parked in an all-day floodlit area and under continuous CCTV surveillance.

Obama traveled to Vietnam on May 23 for a three-day visit marked by a historic lifting of U.S. lethal arms embargo. He is the third U.S. President to have visited Vietnam. 


Air Force One. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy

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