Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Camp David Fire Department #51



One of the original purposes of the fish pond built in front of the Aspen Lodge was to provide a nearby water source in the event of a fire at the President's cabin. Over the years, there have been a number of fires at Camp David. In 1959, the White Pine maintenance building was destroyed in a fire. It was later rebuilt and contains a carpenter shop and a plumbing shop.  In 1969, a fire in President Nixon's small office in the Maple cabin broke out when someone tried to thaw out a frozen water pipe.

Camp David now has a full-time professional fire department  responsible for protecting 130 facilities at the retreat with many of the buildings being historical wooden structures with fireplaces inside.

Inside the Camp David fire station


This fire truck was built by E-One


In 2005, the U.S. Navy nominated the Fire Chief at Camp David for "U.S. Navy Military Fire Officer of the Year".  Some of his accomplishments included:

  • Identified significant equipment shortages on all firefighting apparatus and brought the equipment up to highest standards required for POTUS support.
  • Commanded the crash crew for all POTUS flight operations
  • Developed the plan to transition from the existing, mostly collateral-duty fire brigade concept to a full-time professional fire department with aviation and damage control rated personnel.
  • Identified training requirements for inbound personnel being reassigned to Camp David allowing members to receive Fire Fighter II, ARFF, and Hazardous Materials training prior to reporting for duty.








In 2007, the U.S. Navy nominated a Camp David firefighter for the "DOD Military Firefighter of the Year".  Some of his accomplishments:

  • Implemented a robust training program, created and maintained 13 training records for U.S. Navy Firefighters.
  • Supervised and led 15 Presidential helicopter arrivals and departures which included 75 helicopter training touch and go’s for HMX-1 Helicopter Squadron, H-1’s, H-3’s, SH-60’s, H-46’s, and H-53’s with zero mishaps.
  • Led the Command’s duty fire brigade in structural firefighting operations, aircraft crash and salvage procedures, hazardous material operations and CBRN operations.
  • Established the development and implementation of 42 maintenance shops and guest facility emergency action plans reducing fire department response times by 50 percent.


Camp David Fire Department Challenge Coin



Camp David has entered into a Mutual Aid Memorandum of Agreement with Frederick County Maryland for mutual aid in fire prevention, protection of life and property from fire, firefighting, rescue, and hazardous materials response. This agreement defines the rules for requesting and receiving aid in fighting fires at Camp David and in Frederick County.

Mutual Aid Memorandum of Agreement (full document)





Read more about the Navy Fire and Emergency Services program.





Sources:

Camp David Tour; IAFC; Commander Navy Installations Command

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Vice President Dick Cheney at Camp David on 9/11

Vice President Cheney, Lynne Cheney and I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby Aboard Marine Two on September 11, 2001

In response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, the National Archives released a collection of photos of Vice President Dick Cheney on September 11, 2001. The photos show Cheney watching television footage of the World Trade Center attack in his office and meeting with senior members of the administration in the PEOC bunker six stories beneath the White House before heading off to Camp David aboard Marine Two.


The Cheneys arrive at Camp David on September 11, 2001








Vice President Dick Cheney in Laurel Lodge at Camp David on September 11, 2001


Sources:

PBS; National Archives

Secretary of State John Kerry Hosts Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at Camp David

Secretary Kerry and Afghan President Ghani arrive at Camp David on March 23, 2015 (State Dept)

On March 23, 2015, Secretary of State John Kerry hosted Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, and other key members of the Afghan Government at Camp David. The topics of discussion included security, economic development, and U.S. support for the Afghan-led reconciliation process. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and Secretary of the Treasury Jacob J. Lew also participated in the meetings.



The photo above shows security standing guard as Secretary Kerry and President Ghani head off in their golf carts shortly after arriving at Camp David.



Secretaries Kerry, Carter and Lew and Afghan President Ghani and CEO Abdullah talk to reporters outside Laurel Lodge (State Dept)


Secretaries Kerry, Carter, and Lew eat lunch with Afghan President Ghani and CEO Abdullah in Laurel Lodge (State Dept)


Secretaries Kerry, Carter, and Lew meet with Afghan President Ghani and CEO Abdullah in Laurel Lodge (State Dept)


Secretary Kerry meets one-on-one with Afghan President Ghani in Holly Cabin (State Dept)


Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Ash Carter in Holly Cabin (State Dept)


Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and Afghanistan Finance Minister Eklil Hakimi give remarks in the Hickory Theater at Camp David prior to signing a memorandum of understanding for financial capacity building and technical assistance.  (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Rachel McMarr)





Secretary of State John Kerry, joined by Defense Secretary Ash Carter, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Afghan CEO Abdullah Abdullah, addresses reporters at a news conference in the Hackberry Hangar at Camp David (State Dept)


Overhead view of press conference held in the Hackberry Hangar. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Rachel McMarr)


From left, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Afghanistan Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah, Camp David Commanding Officer Cmdr. Russell Rang, NSF Thurmont Senior Enlisted Leader Master Chief Constructionman Joe Maioriello and Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani speak at the conclusion of a day of dialogue at Camp David.  (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Rachel McMarr/(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Rachel McMarr)



Sources
State Department, VOA News, Getty Images, U.S. Navy

Thursday, May 14, 2015

GCC Summit at Camp David

GCC Summit meeting in Laurel Lodge (Pool photo by @CostantiniWW1)

President Obama convened a summit meeting with leaders from the six nations (Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and the U.A.E.) that form the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) on May 14, 2015. The meeting focused on the current instability in the Middle East, including the conflicts in Yemen, Syria and Iraq. The President also wanted to address concerns over a potential nuclear deal with rival Iran.

President Obama departed the White House at 10:40am on Marine One. Accompanying the President were
 Susan Rice, Ben Rhodes, Josh Earnest and Joe Paulsen. The White House Press Corps assembled at Camp Round Meadow, which is a short distance from Camp David.

Schedule of Events (President's Daily Schedule)

11:05 AM   The President greets leaders and delegations
11:15 AM   The President hosts a working session
12:15 PM    The President hosts a lunch
1:35 PM    The President hosts a second working session
2:40 PM    The President and leaders of delegations take individual photos
2:50 PM    The President and leaders of delegations take a group photo
3:00 PM    The President hosts a third working session
5:00 PM    The President holds a press conference
5:55 PM    The President departs Camp David en route the White House














Sources
WH press pool reports; VOA News; Twitter; White House




Sunday, March 1, 2015

Afghan President Karzai at Camp David

President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush stand with President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan during an arrival ceremony at Camp David, Sunday, August 5, 2007. (White House)

In 2007, President George W. Bush invited Afghan President Hamid Karzai to Camp David for two days in August to discuss security issues related to Afghanistan. President Karzai was met with the customary formal arrival ceremony for visiting leaders.  Karzai spoke briefly with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Robert Gates before heading off in Golf Cart One with the President and First Lady.


President Bush behind the wheel of Golf Cart One with First Lady Laura Bush and Afghan President Hamid Karzai (Getty)


For dinner that evening, the menu included fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, cheese and garlic biscuits and pineapple upside down cake. President Bush and President Karzai held a joint press conference the following morning.


Joint press conference held at Camp David on August 6, 2007 (White House)

President Bush and President Karzai (AFP)




Read the official White House transcript of the joint press conference with President Karzai.





Sources:  The White House; Reuters; NPR; Boston Globe; USA Today


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Photos from the LBJ Library

The LBJ Presidential Library has a nice collection of photos taken at Camp David during President Johnson's term in office. There is also a text-searchable collection of his Daily Diaries. Below are the Camp David photos and their corresponding diary entries.


June 17, 1967 - Informal State Visit of Prime Minister and Mrs. Harold Holt of Australia

View the President's Daily Diary for these photos (starting on page 6)

View looking into Aspen Lodge - guests at the dinner table

Aspen Lodge exterior

President Lyndon B. Johnson, Prime Minister Harold Holt, and others talk informally inside Aspen Lodge

President Johnson, Prime Minister Holt and guests outside on the Aspen terrace

President Johnson and guests relax around the pool



April 9, 1968 - President Johnson meets with advisors at Camp David

View the President's Daily Diary for these photos


Amb. Ellsworth Bunker, Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson, Amb. Averell Harriman, Press Secy. George Christian outside Aspen

President Lyndon B. Johnson meets with Amb. Ellsworth Bunker, Secy. Clark Clifford, Secy. Dean Rusk, Gen. Earl Wheeler, William Bundy, Walt Rostow, George Christian, Jim Jones, and Averell Harriman

Amb. Ellsworth Bunker, Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson, Amb. Averell Harriman near the Aspen pond

President Lyndon B. Johnson in conversation with Amb. Ellsworth Bunker



Source:  LBJ Presidential Library  (Photos credit: LBJ Library photo by Yoichi Okamoto)



Sunday, June 1, 2014

Good Will Hunting Screening at Camp David in 1998

Group shot of the participants at the screening of "Good Will Hunting" (Courtesy; William J. Clinton Presidential Library)


In January 1998, President Clinton invited a couple dozen people to Camp David for a weekend screening of the movie "Good Will Hunting". The guest list included film actors Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Robin Williams, and Minnie Driver; along with film director Gus Van Sant and producer Lawrence Bender.

Other guests included  National Security Advisor Sandy Berger, Senator Tom Daschle, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright; Clinton friends Terry and  Dorothy McAuliffe; Harvey Weinstein (Miramax); and actress Gwyneth Paltrow.

The weekend included a tour of the presidential retreat; watching the NFL football playoffs on a big-screen TV in Laurel Lodge;  a formal five-course dinner also in Laurel; the Good Will Hunting screening in the movie theater in Hickory Lodge; and some late-night bowling.

President Clinton speaks with Ben Affleck and Matt Damon in Laurel Lodge (Courtesy; William J. Clinton Presidential Library)


President Clinton watching football with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck in Laurel  (Courtesy; William J. Clinton Presidential Library)


Gwyneth Paltrow poses with Clinton's dog Buddy at Camp David  (Courtesy; William J. Clinton Presidential Library)


President Clinton and Madeleine Albright practice bowling  (Courtesy; William J. Clinton Presidential Library)


(Courtesy; William J. Clinton Presidential Library)


Sources
William J. Clinton Presidential Library
What A Party! by Terry McAuliffe
University of Maine Alumni Profiles - Lawrence Bender
London Evening Standard


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

New Construction at Camp David


One way to find out about new construction at Camp David is to study the satellite photos published periodically by Google and Bing. Google Maps has recently been updated to use satellite imagery from 5/25/2013. It previously displayed image data from 2/28/2007.

After looking over the updated imagery, I found the following changes below to be the most interesting.



There appears to be a new building next to the Witch Hazel cabin



A roof was added above the staff pool and a small building (changing room/showers?) was added on the left



The hangar building was enlarged and a pond was added



The area behind the skeet range has been modified



This unknown building located southeast of the staff pool has been modified



A small structure was added near the cluster of buildings located near the back gate


It looks like a building might have been added near the Laurel Lodge


Related page: Camp David Maps



Source: Google maps