Transportation Security Administration Expands PreCheck Program
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, July 11, 2012 The Transportation Security Administration is expanding a program that’s designed to provide faster processing for traveling service members passing through the nation’s airports while allowing TSA inspectors to concentrate on threats to travelers’ safety, a DOD official said in testimony here today.
Todd Rosenblum, the principle deputy secretary of defense for homeland defense, praised the TSA effort that will expedite processing for military travelers. He spoke before the House Committee on Homeland Security’s transportation security subcommittee.
In prepared testimony, Rosenblum talked about the TSA effort to expand the PreCheck system. TSA began testing the system in November 2011 at the Monterey Peninsula Airport in California, he said. The system has since been expanded, he said, to Reagan-National Airport in Washington, D.C., and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Washington state.
The PreCheck system is an outgrowth of legislation passed last year -- the Risk-Based Security Screening for Members of the Armed Forces Act. Under the program, service members -- in uniform or wearing civilian clothes -- can present their common access cards and qualify for expedited screening lanes.
This builds on past TSA/DOD partnerships, Rosenblum said.
“U.S. military personnel in uniform with military identification cards are not required to remove their boots or shoes unless they set off an alarm,” he said in his written testimony. TSA also works with DOD to expedite screening for wounded warriors and their families and for Honor Flight veterans -- a grass-roots effort to bring veterans to Washington to visit their war memorials.
TSA inspectors use the common access card to instantly identify members of the armed forces and ensure they are in good standing with the Defense Department and the FBI’s National Criminal Information Center. Once the check is completed, the system erases personal information.
Rosenblum emphasized that service members do not need to be wearing uniforms to take advantage of PreCheck.
“DOD is fully committed to continuing its long-standing partnership with the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Safety Administration to strengthen aviation security while significantly enhancing the travel experience whenever possible for our service members,” he said.