The recent visit of the president of the United States – also known as POTUS – to our region brought Air Force One to Moffett Federal Airfield, a facility known to pilots by the code initials NUQ. In recent years, U.S. presidents often have used NUQ, as it is the closest runway to Silicon Valley.
Moffett has played host to a range of important aircraft since it was completed in 1933 – from the Navy dirigible USS Akron to the Blue Angels and today’s Google fleet. Actor James Stewart earned his Air Corps wings there in 1941. During the Cold War, Moffett was home to the Navy’s P-3 Orions, whose squadrons hunted Russian submarines in the Pacific. As tensions eased in the 1980s, NUQ also hosted a civil aviation flying club for veterans like my father.