U.S. President Joe Biden’s highly anticipated visit to the UK began on a high note as his helicopter entourage landed at RAF Northolt late on Sunday.
The President’s arrival in London marks the commencement of a three-nation tour, with climate change discussions with King Charles at Windsor Castle set to take place today, Monday, July 10.
President Biden, who flew into Stansted Airport northeast of London, ensured his secure and efficient transportation by airlifting his VH-3D Sea King “Marine One” helicopters into RAF Northolt. These aircraft, renowned for their association with the U.S. President’s travel, were ferried into the United Kingdom aboard two C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft.
In addition to the helicopters, a fleet of Chinooks from the U.S. Army arrived at RAF Northolt from Germany. These powerful helicopters will play a crucial role in the helicopter escort force, providing support and security as President Biden and his delegation travel across the United Kingdom during his stay.
The skies of London witnessed an impressive sight as the fleet, accompanied by a police escort, embarked on a practice flight. This exercise allowed the pilots and crew to familiarise themselves with the transport protocols involved in moving President Biden as “Marine One” during his visit to meet with King Charles.
President Biden’s schedule includes an audience with King Charles III to convey his congratulations on the monarch’s coronation. After the meeting, the U.S. President is expected to depart for Lithuania to participate in the NATO summit.
The visit of President Biden, a vocal advocate for combatting climate change, presents a significant opportunity for discussions with King Charles on this pressing global issue. The two leaders are expected to engage in productive deliberations at Windsor Castle, where they will explore avenues for collaboration and shared strategies to address the urgent challenges posed by climate change.
RAF Northolt, in Hillingdon, is one of the Royal Air Force’s primary operational bases. In addition to its military role, the airfield serves as a gateway for diplomatic and VIP flights to the capital city, providing essential support for high-level visits and government-related activities.