A Coast Guard plane made a hard landing at Vail, Colorado's airport today.
I find it very hard to find any legitimate reason for a Coast Guard plane to be landing in Vail in the first place.
The Coast Guard's jurisdiction encompasses the Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific Coasts, the Great Lakes, and perhaps commercial navigation on rivers like the Mississippi. Vail is about as far from any of those things as one can imagine. The Coast Guard is not responsible for maintaining law and order among the canoes and rafts of the Eagle River, and it certainly doesn't need an airplane to do so.
Admittedly, the Coast Guard might need to move planes from one coast to another now and then. But, one would think that it would use major airports like DIA for refuelings on a trip like that, rather than having a planned destination like the Eagle-Vail airport, with its notoriously difficult to land at runways. There is no indication that this was an unexpected destination involving an emergency landing.
One suspects that the trip involves transporting federal government VIPs to a vacation/conference in Vail. But, it is hard to believe that this really necessitates the use of a government owned plane, rather than commercial air travel services. If we're going to insist that automobile company executives take commercial planes or drive to Washington D.C. to ask for bailouts, it is hard to see why Coast Guard officials at any level ought to be flying offical aircraft to Vail. The President and First Lady have their air transporation needs met by the Air Force and Marines, so it is improbable that this has anything to do with Michelle Obama's visit to the state.
The Vail Daily's report states that the Coast Guard plane was in the vicinity for high alititude training. If true, the fact that the Coast Guard finds it worthwhile to do high alititude training is itself a scandal. The Coast Guard has to deal with all sorts of circumstances, but high alititudes are not among them. By definition, their missions all involve places rather close to sea level. Unless the Coast Guard has been activated for service in Afghanistan, there is really no reason for its aircraft crews to have that kind of training at government expense.