WASHINGTON, D. C. â€” The Transportation Security Administration is expanding a program thatâ€™s designed to provide faster processing for traveling service members passing through the nationâ€™s airports while allowing TSA inspectors to concentrate on threats to travelersâ€™ safety, a DOD official said in testimony, July 11.
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 Securityâ€™s transportation security subcommittee.
In a prepared testimony, Rosenblum talked about the TSA effort to expand the PreCheck system. TSA began testing the system in November 2011, at the Monterrey Peninsula Airport in Calif., he said. The system has since been expanded to Reagan-National Airport in Washington, D.C. and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Wash.
The PreCheck system is an outgrowth of legislation passed last year that associates with 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.
â€œU.S. military personnel in uniform with military identification cards are not required to remove their boots or shoes unless they set off an alarm,â€ 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 D.C., 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 FBIâ€™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.
â€œDOD 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,â€ he said.