President Obama signed legislation making it easier for military on duty to speed through those long lines at security and more importantly (to me) not to take off your boots.
As reported Thursday by the AP “Members of the military on official travel, and their families, would move through airport security quicker next year under legislation sent to the president on Tuesday.”
You can thank this representative for the legislation, “An expedited, risk-based TSA screening process is the least we can do for our men and women in uniform and their families who sacrifice so much,” said chief sponsor Rep. Chip Cravaack, R-Minn. He said the bill also would be an important piece of the government’s move toward a screening system based on risk and intelligence information. While Homeland Security would establish the new preferential system, Cravaack said he envisions troops not having to remove boots, belt buckles, bulky military jackets and medals. Troops could go to the front of the line, or a separate line could be created.
Members will have to be in uniform and on official orders so no flashing your CAC card and thinking your going to breeze your family through on their way to vacation in Belize, but at least it is something. I know that I often change into civvies when traveling offically since I hate taking off my boots and my jacket with all those metals pins on it. I have experienced some airports such as Anchorage and Fayetteville that are very military friendly and tell you you don’t have to take off your boots or uniform, but I think that is just because they get so many troops every day. This is definitely not the rule. I do get amused when the TSA screener says that you can wear your boots through if they don’t have a steel plate in the sole (known as a shank). Trouble is there is no way to know whether your boots have one or not unless you have tested them. I have some of my issued boots with them and some without and now have learned to tell which or which of I am going to take a flight. Hint: run a strong magnet along the sole and see if it attracts to the boot.
Of course, this is now all OBE for those that have to go through one of the new body scanner and must remove everything.
In related news, “TSA on Nov. 15 began a test at the Monterey Peninsula Airport in California, allowing members of the armed forces to present their Defense Department identification card for scanning. The experiment is only to see whether the scanning system works, but there is no change in screening procedures.”
This is great for those attending DLI; hopefully we will see it expanded to other airports particulary those near military bases. It is nice to see TSA thinking intelligently and trusting those serving their country.