Saturday update: Airport officials say the crew of Air Force Two purchased 5,000 gallons of jet fuel from Rome’s Russell Field on Friday while Vice President Mike Pence was in town to meet with his former top aide at Barnsley Gardens. That purchase equates to about $26,000 to our local economy.
A surprise turnout greeted Vice President Mike Pence’s lengthy motorcade between Adairsville and Rome on Friday afternoon. Pence was in town for private meeting at Barnsley Gardens on Friday afternoon after speaking in Atlanta earlier in the day. Air Force Two later took off from Rome’s Russell Field around 4:25 p.m. on Friday. Click here to see video of takeoff on our Facebook page.
According to the AJC, Pence was at Barnsley Gardens to meet with is former top aide, Nick Ayers, at the annual Teneo retreat. “Teneo’s mission is to recruit and promote young conservatives, and Ayers’ conversation with Pence will focus on how the vice president became a conservative, the ideas that shaped his worldview and foreign policy issues,” states the AJC article.
Below: Our readers share videos from the vice president’s visit.
Vice President Mike Pence is due in Rome this afternoon but where and exactly why are still a mystery. His schedule for the day, which appears below, tracks Pence from his speech before The Resurgent Gathering at the Grand Hyatt in Buckhead at 11:20 a.m. and then jumps ahead to “3:35 p.m., the vice president departs Rome, Ga., en route to Washington, D.C., on Air Force Two” arriving there at 5:05 p.m. The travel note logs the take off from Richard B. Russell Regional Airport/Towers Field.
We do know air travel around the airport is restricted today as it is at Dobbins in Marietta where the vice president’s jet will touch down today at 10:10 a.m. We also know appropriate security precautions have been taken in Northwest Georgia as Secret Service agents have been on the ground in the past 24 to 36 hours. And we do know more than a few leaders in Rome and at the airport were caught off guard by security and scheduling this week.
We’re sure he’ll be attending a private function at Barnsley Resort near Adairsville.
Here’s the vice president’s schedule as of this morning:
*8:30 AM THE VICE PRESIDENT departs Washington, D.C. en route to
Marietta, GA on Air Force Two*
*Joint Base Andrews *
*10:10 AM THE VICE PRESIDENT arrives in Marietta, GA on Air Force
*Dobbins Air Reserve Base *
*11:20 AM THE VICE PRESIDENT delivers remarks at the 2nd annual
*Grand Hyatt Atlanta-Buckhead*
*3:35 PM THE VICE PRESIDENT departs Rome, GA en route to
Washington, D.C. on Air Force Two*
*Richard B. Russell Airport*
*5:05 PM THE VICE PRESIDENT arrives in Washington, D.C. on Air
*Joint Base Andrews*
The texts and phone calls started around 9:30 a.m. Thursday. There were reports that Vice President Michael R. Pence was coming to the Rome area, exactly where and for how long weren’t known. There was early speculation that it was tied to the Republican Rally at the Tillman Hangar at Richard B. Russell Regional Airport but that event isn’t until Aug. 10 and the only confirmed national guest so far is a Trump campaign bus.
We immediately began our checks of those who might know and didn’t come away with specific answers. We heard of Secret Service agents, rental vans, closed off medical offices, possible overnight accommodations Friday and such but nothing official.
We checked with Floyd Medical Center as it would be a stop in an emergency scenario. Floyd’s comment was that the staff is always “adequately prepared” for the needs of a visiting dignitary. An ongoing check with flights into and out of Russell/Towers Field shows no government aircraft (we’re not sure that it would). It appears to be a normal day of local air traffic.
But we’ve also seen some flight restrictions for the Rome airport in effect for Friday.
What we do know is that Pence is among the scheduled speakers at WSB radio commentator Erick Erickson’s Resurgent Gathering in Atlanta on Friday (see AJC).
We’ve visited VP Public Schedules and his Friday schedule shows he’ll arrive at Dobbins Air Force Base in Marietta at 10:10 a.m. His later departure is listed as closed to the media.
We do have calls and emails into the White House and the vice president’s office for more.