Part-time Montana TSA officer brings international security resume to TSA

Wednesday, August 19, 2020
Pete Mack and Tammy Rakoce

After a thrilling career in security and law enforcement, Peter Mack is now ‘settled down’ as a part-time TSA officer at Montana’s Great Falls International Airport (GTF), but he’s still making a huge impact on our country.

Pete brought a pretty healthy resume to TSA, having previously served as a special agent with the Diplomatic Security Service and as an assistant regional security officer in the American Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon. He spent 20 years as a U.S. Army military police officer and retired from the military as director of emergency services at Fort Irwin, California. Pete later retired from the state of Montana where he was a motor carrier services officer. He then joined TSA in 2016.

Pete has served in law enforcement or security most of his adult life.

“I have interviewed terrorists in Beirut,” he said. “I also monitored radio traffic during airplane hijackings in Beirut. I was responsible for law enforcement and security at a military installation the size of a small town. I knew two people who died in the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing, and my wife was in the [1984] bombing in the Beirut Embassy. [Coming to TSA] was personal for me.”

“TSA allows me to continue using my experience and background in security,” said Pete. “It also lets me settle down and remain in my local community.”

Pete Mack picture

In his part-time role at GTF, Pete is a dual function officer, certified to screen airport passengers and checked bags. He’s currently the Great Falls Network Information Officer (NIO) and a member of TSA’s National Advisory Council (NAC) – a 20-member group of employees from across the country chosen by their peers to advise TSA leadership on field issues.

“As the NIO, I brief the Great Falls TSA workforce on current security-related events that occur worldwide,” he said. “As a member of the NAC, I help advise the TSA administration at the national level on issues concerning the field.”

Pete is proud of his leaders’ trust and confidence to allow him to serve on the NAC. We asked Pete for a few words on his contributions to TSA’s mission.

What I do matters because I have a wealth of experience in different organizations concerning security and counterterrorism. I have a unique perspective to offer the agency.

The most rewarding part of my job is helping people, both within TSA and the public. Being part of the NAC gives me an opportunity to share my ideas.

My job is challenging because I am a relatively new employee. The most challenging part of the job is learning all of the ins and outs of the organization.