The Pentagon is investigating into the situation where certain Boeing workers are constructing the new Air Force One aircraft without the most recent security clearances.
According to a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) story, Boeing and Pentagon officials are trying to figure out how long workers with expired security clearances have handled the present and upcoming Air Force One planes.
Some 250 Boeing employees are reportedly implicated in the investigation, according to the WSJ, which cited a source with knowledge of the situation. These employees reportedly had security clearances that had expired months or even years prior—in the worst-case scenario, seven years ago.
Boeing, which is now working on the next Air Force One, the VC-25B, also constructed and provided the United States Air Force with the VC-25A, a Boeing 747-200 that had been modified (USAF).
The converted Boeing 747-8I, the most recent and final model of the iconic hump-deck plane that made its commercial debut with Pan American World Airlines (Pan Am) in January 1970, will serve as the basis for the VC-25B.
A total of 48 Boeing 747-8Is, the aircraft’s passenger version, have been delivered by the aircraft manufacturer since production got underway in 2008. The two future VC-25A aircraft were originally intended for the Russian airline Transaero, but it filed for bankruptcy before Boeing could deliver them.
Current US President Joseph Biden approved a new Air Force One livery in early March 2023, replacing Donald Trump’s suggested paint job.
The USAF anticipates receiving the first VC-25B from Boeing in 2027, followed by the second in 2028.