Melania Trump makes historic Osprey flight to visit US military

First FLOTUS to fly on the machine

By CNN'S JASMINE WRIGHT CONTRIBUTED TO THIS REPORT.
Copyright 2018 CNN

First lady Melania Trump spoke to military families on Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018, at Joint Base Langley-Eustis.

(CNN) - Melania Trump spent part of Wednesday flying over areas of Virginia and the Atlantic Ocean in a V-22 Osprey, becoming the first first lady to do so.

The Osprey is a massive military flight machine that can fly longer ranges like a plane while also having the ability to land and take off like a helicopter, a maneuver that came in handy when Trump paid a visit to the USS George H.W. Bush, the Navy's 1,092-foot long warship, which is powered by two nuclear reactors.

Trump's appearance on the aircraft carrier was the last of three military-themed events in which the first lady took part in the span of about five hours, first to Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, outside of Washington, where she boarded the V-22, and then on to Joint Base Langley-Eustis, in Hampton, Virginia, for a tour and a meet-and-greet with military families.

"When preparing for this stop, I learned that this base is more than 100 years old, and has a long history of excellence," said Trump in prepared remarks to the approximately 600 servicemembers at Langley-Eustis.

"I also learned that the airmen and soldiers in this room have stepped up after natural disasters, like Hurricane Michael, and that many of you have recently returned home from deployment. I am honored to be able to say welcome home and thank you for answering the call of duty," she added.

According to a statement from the base, Trump's audience Wednesday were "children from Burbank and Bethel Manor Elementary schools, Airmen from the 63rd Air Base Wine, 1st Fighter Wing and 192nd Wing, and Soldiers from the 7th Transportation Brigade from JBLE- Eustis."

Trump spent time high-fiving a group of kids who were waiting for her arrival.

"What are you asking Santa for Christmas?" Trump asked, to which a handful of the children responded: "Puppies!"

Trump also received a personal tour of the Air Force's F-22 Raptor fighter jet, part of the stealth fleet.

The first lady's visit to the USS George H.W. Bush was closed to the media.

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