U.S. Air Force says nothing special about VIP jet at Whitehorse airport

Lt. Col. Tisha Wright says the crew was looking for an unfamiliar airport at Whitehorse's latitude to test satellite communications gear.

Officer says the crew looking for an unfamiliar airport at a northern latitude to test communications gear

The United States Air Force jet commonly used to shuttle VIPs that landed at the Whitehorse airport Tuesday evening was there as part of a training exercise, according to a military officer. (Steve Hossack/CBC)

A U.S. military officer insists a jet commonly known as Air Force Two really was on a routine training flight when it overnighted in Whitehorse, an Air Force officer told CBC.

The Boeing 757 landed at the Whitehorse Tuesday afternoon and then left Wednesday morning.

The jet is one of the aircraft used by American vice-presidents, hence the Air Force Two call sign, only used when a vice-president is onboard.

Although Whitehorse airport manager Robert Manlig said he had been told it was on a training exercise, locals continued to speculate on social media about the aircraft's purpose in the Yukon.

However, Lt. Col. Tisha Wright, based at Andrews Air Force Base, says the crew was simply looking for an unfamiliar foreign airport at the same latitude as Whitehorse to test their onboard satellite communications system.

"A lot of exquisite com[munication] systems are on the jet, so as part of the routine training missions they like to go into international locations, and try out runways they haven't experienced before," she said.

"Then part of the mission is to test all of of the communications equipment. You know, to ensure that it works properly  and everything is smooth when they actually do have a VIP on the jet," said Wright.

with files from Steve Hossack