The Department of Homeland Security recognized 70 TSA employees for outstanding contributions to the DHS and TSA missions at the 2019 DHS Secretary Awards ceremony.
Former DHS Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan thanked the award winners for all they do to advance the department’s mission. “Thank you for performing your duties with the standard of excellence,” McAleenan said. “Today, we are gathered to celebrate some of the very best among us—those whose dedication, bravery, innovation and contributions to executing our mission inspire us all.”
TSA took home five individual and eight team awards that honored employees’ hard work, dedication, and exemplary achievements.
The Los Angeles International Airport Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS) team won the Secretary’s Award for Excellence for responding to an assault of a flight attendant midway through a flight from Melbourne, Australia to Los Angeles. The team safeguarded the plane for the remainder of the 14-hour flight. The team’s actions culminated in the first federal prosecution of an in-flight assault, paving the way for future prosecutions of in-flight incidents that have been on the rise in recent years.
“We are sincerely dedicated and committed to providing security and protecting the American public from criminal, terrorist, and hostile activities targeting our nation‘s transportation systems,” said a Senior FAM. “We took immediate and decisive action to prevent the individual from causing further disturbances and endangering the crew and passengers.”
The TSA Pay Team was awarded the Meritorious Service Silver Medal award for their hard work and dedication in ensuring officers received pay during the unprecedented 35-day federal government shutdown. Despite considerable hardship, the team’s efforts, along with officers’ incredible resilience, carried on TSA’s commitment to keep the traveling public safe.
The TSA Mission Training Unit won the Unit Award for collaborating with FAMS to develop an in-flight deployment strategy to capitalize on a more intelligence-driven system to ensure passenger security.
The TSA Innovation Task Force also won the Unit Award for employing a strategic and collaborative approach to TSA’s continued commitment to a culture of innovation. ITF has integrated stakeholders, enhancing security and improving the passenger experience to help achieve TSA’s mission.