We wanted to verify if this was true, and why exactly these chillers were going to cost so much.
So, we went straight to the source and contacted the company awarded the money: Boeing.
They sent us a statement that said "Only the U.S. Air Force can discuss that airplane or that work. You'll need to contact their press desk in the Pentagon."
On to the Pentagon we went. Major Emily Grabowski declined a skype interview but sent us a statement outlining the project. Basically, she said the work is for two out of five of the units on the plane. The units being replaced are the ones that came with the plane in 1990.
Right now, they are designed for short time food storage. The new chillers "are being specially designed to provide nearly 70 cubic feet of temperature-controlled storage" states Major Grabowski. This is refrigeration and freezer capabilities. They need this upgrade so the on-board personnel doesn't have to re-stock for an extended period.
According to the Air Force, "There are four different areas for cold food storage throughout the aircraft: five chillers and 26 climate-controlled compartments. We are replacing two cold chiller units, which includes eight climate-controlled compartments."
We can verify that yes, the Air Force One is being outfitted with two new chiller units and they are costing almost $24 million. The reason they cost so much is they are not your average fridge and freezer. They must make them specifically for the plane and the units are way bigger than normal.
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