Funny how the TSA turns a miscommunication (read their error) into a positive at Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport on last Thursday (read story). Why a positive, because the agent of the “make-work” program actual did their job and detected a fake bomb in a suitcase being used as part of a “routine drill.” Unfortunately, the TSA failed to tell the local police. “Airport spokesman Pat Hogan said the good news is that the bomb was detected and the security precautions at the airport worked.”
I recall pre 9-11 when I all management employees (supervisor level) had to go through “training” for 6 weeks. As part of that training, we had a woman at United Airlines, who involved in airline security. She provided us training on using the x-ray machines and explosive trace-detection portal machines. Not sure this training as as “intense” as the rent-a-cops who staffed security checkpoints, but learning how to interpret what the image was on the x-ray machine was interesting.
This training was required as part of the job description for supervisor, to be trained as a Ground Security Coordinator (GSC). Part of those duties were also to “oversee” security checkpoints, one place I did not want to be. I still recall my only duty was to tell a family their Mylar, Mickey Mouse balloon could not come through the checkpoint. Talk about ridiculous! Allegedly I was keeping the airline safe and the concourse sterile.
Needless to say after this “formal” training I was nowhere near prepared, as an airline supervisor to be overseeing any security checkpoint. The GSC was nothing more than an acronym attached to the position due to the sensitivity nature of the job. I made many security type decisions, sometimes unilaterally and other times consulting other individuals or departments.
Unfortunately the dog and pony show known as the TSA has not made air travel any safer. Sure they can point to their track record since 9-11, as there have been no hijacking or terrorist attacks. Yet it’s not the TSA who has been deterring these thwarts attempts on aviation security. So continue to the with smoke and mirrors, make sure your grope, fondle and molest air travelers in the name of security.