Pope Francis arrived Tuesday afternoon to cheering crowds at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, beginning his historic six-day visit to the United States.
The pope's aircraft, dubbed Shepherd 1, touched down at 3:49 p.m. at the suburban Washington D.C. base. Waiting to greet him were U.S. President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and their two daughters, along with Vice President Joe Biden and other U.S. officials.
The pope also was met by a retinue of cardinals, dressed in black cassocks with scarlet sashes. Hundreds of other spectators gathered on bleachers.
"Pope Francis! Pope Francis!" rose a chant as the pontiff descended stairs from the airliner, his white skullcap in hand. READ MORE OF THIS STORY ON VOA NEWS WEBSITE