National Security

Empty tequila bottles on future Air Force One prompts Boeing probe


Boeing is looking into how two empty mini tequila bottles ended up on a future Air Force One jet, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The bottles were found sometime in September in San Antonio on an Air Force One plane being developed by Boeing, though it was unclear where exactly the bottles were found.  

The situation was deemed a personnel matter by a spokesman for Boeing. The news outlet noted that Boeing has said it is trying to improve manufacturing and quality operations.

Boeing was taking the discovery of the empty bottles seriously, one person familiar with the incident told the Journal. That source also said because alcohol is not allowed in any Boeing facilities it was being considered “foreign object debris.”

In a statement to The Hill, Boeing said, “This is a personnel matter and for contractual reasons we are unable to comment further.”

The discovery of the empty bottles is particularly noteworthy because of its future passengers. Attorneys for Boeing said the planes were “effectively an airborne seat of government” in court documents, the Journal reported. Additional security clearance is required for anyone working on the jets. 

The White House referred questions about the incident to the Air Force, according to the Journal. A spokeswoman for the Air Force told the news outlet Boeing had notified it about the incident, which she said had not impacted aircraft-modification work. 

She added the Air Force and Defense Contract Management Agency could hold “Boeing accountable to ensure the VC-25B program meets stringent quality-control requirements.”

The Hill has reached out to the White House and the Air Force for further comment.

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