Job Includes High-Level Security Clearance, Interesting
Senior Airman Amanda Fauci has what
is undeniably an interesting job. The Wall Street Journal reports
the 23-year-old has nearly the same security clearance as a Secret
Service agent, and sometimes goes on weeks-long classified
The job? She's a flight attendant on 17 luxury planes which
ferry government dignitaries around the world. That exclusive fleet
includes Air Force One.
Unlike commercial flight attendants, Amanda and her colleagues
wear drab uniforms, must be trained in survival and food prep
skills, are required to be on 24-hour call... and even have to shop
for food and clean the plane.
Surprisingly, the paper says despite the adventure of attending
to world leaders and occasional stays in exotic locales, recruiting
for the positions are tough.
"My friends say, 'I wouldn't do your job if they gave me a
bonus,'" said Tech. Sgt. Allison Miller, a 10-year Air Force
attendant. But there are undeniable perks... "I've seen the world
twice," she adds.
Not all attendants work prestigious assignments, either. In
fact, anyone with claustrophobia probably need not apply... as you
may find yourself inside one of two "silver bullets" --
Airstream-type travel trailers that provide VIPs with a travel
suite and communications abilities, transported discretely in the
belly of a C-17.
"Some places you wouldn't want a blue and white [an executive
transport aircraft] to go," says Tech. Sgt. Christina Sheridan, 32.
"I spend a lot of time in Iraq, Bagram [Afghanistan] and Kabul. We
do the same cooking but we serve on plastic instead of glass."
If you're interested, the job starts at about $40,000, about
in-line with what senior commercial FA's make. That pay may
eventually go much higher, though... and there are also per-diems,
hazard pay for dangerous locations, and, of course, the chance to
rub elbows with people who make history.
Before one recent flight, Airman Fauci baked sugar cookies
shaped like Texas, and frosted in red, white and blue at home. The
next day, she got to serve them to Defense Secretary Robert M.
Gates, former President George H.W. Bush and other VIPs on a Boeing
757 flying to for College Station, TX.
Her extra work got her kudos from her passengers, who noticed
the shape. "They thought that was awesome."