- Associated Press - Friday, April 3, 2015

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah (AP) - President Barack Obama arrived in Utah on Thursday night for his first visit to the state as a president ahead of a speech about clean-energy jobs that he is set to give Friday at Hill Air Force Base.

Air Force One touched down at the northern Utah base at 8:10 p.m. Mountain time on Thursday from Louisville, Kentucky, where he visited a technology company and gave a speech. The White House delayed departing for that trip Thursday for a few hours amid news of an agreement with Iran at nuclear talks in Switzerland.

Obama waved and smiled as he walked down the staircase and off the plane at 8:20 p.m. He stopped to shake hands and talk briefly with a small group that included several Utah lawmakers and Air Force officials. The group included a contingent of Republicans: Gov. Gary Herbert, Sen. Orrin Hatch, Sen. Mike Lee, Rep. Rob Bishop and Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox. A pair of Democrats were also there: Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker and Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams.

As Obama approached a crowd that included several military members, a young boy shouted, “We love you Obama.” The president shook hands and took selfie pictures with the crowd before getting in a car and leaving the base in route to Salt Lake City, where he will stay overnight.

Obama’s last visit to Utah was a brief stop in Park City while he was a presidential candidate in 2007.

The trip marks the 49th state that Obama has visited since becoming president, leaving only South Dakota as the only state still awaiting a presidential trip.

The president will stay overnight in Utah before delivering a speech Friday morning at northern Utah’s Hill Air Force Base about clean-energy jobs. That speech will follow a roundtable discussion Obama will have with officials at the base about clean energy.

The White House did not release details about who would attend the discussion. But Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker is scheduled to participate, said the mayor’s spokesman Art Raymond.

Bishop, whose congressional district includes the northern Utah base, said he hoped Utah would be a great host to the president. “We have a great deal of respect for the office, and I hope it turns out to be a positive experience for everybody,” Bishop said.

Herbert was expected to meet one-on-one with the president Thursday night, as were leaders of the Utah-based Mormon church, a White House official confirmed.

“President Obama is meeting with leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City, including President Henry Eyring, President Dieter Uchtdorf, Elder Tom Perry and Elder Todd Christofferson,” Eric Schultz, the president’s principal deputy press secretary, said in a statement. “The President is pleased to meet with top LDS leaders as so many presidents before him have done. Among other issues, they will discuss the church’s long record of service, including its work on disaster relief and other humanitarian issues, and the need to fix our broken immigration system.”

Obama is not scheduled to make any public appearances while he’s in Utah.

Bishop said he hoped to hear Obama speak about the nation’s military needs while at Hill Air Force Base.

Hill, located among a string of suburbs about 30 miles north of Salt Lake City, has about 24,000 personnel and is the Air Force’s third-largest base. The base, one of Utah’s largest employers, has $3.3 billion in national and local economic impact, including $1.2 billion in indirect jobs in the local community, according to a report produced by the base in December.

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Associated Press writer Darlene Superville contributed to this report from aboard Air Force One.

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