TSA Fort Lauderdale conducts explosives exercise with Broward Bomb Squad

Monday, January 3, 2022
Sheriff's Office Bomb Squad photo

TSA explosives specialists at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport partnered with the Broward Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad to conduct an explosives exercise.

Robot exams bag photo
A robot examines a checked bag next to an explosive trace detection machine to determine if the bag contains an actual threat. (Photo courtesy of TSA Fort Lauderdale)

The training began with TSA briefing the bomb squad about the simulation. The bomb squad responded to an improvised explosive device (IED) in a large checked bag at a baggage screening checkpoint. The bomb squad found a second IED next to their command post as the scenario developed.

“These exercises enable partner agencies, such as the Broward Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad, to respond to a TSA security checkpoint to quickly resolve an explosive threat,” said TSA Supervisory Explosives Specialist Stewart Houston. “It familiarizes them with TSA procedures and facilities in a training environment so when the real thing happens it’s not the first time.”

The secondary device served to add stress and convey the harsh reality of conducting counter IED operations. Bombers often target bomb squads and place IEDs where they think law enforcement will set up their command post.

Robot oversize baggage photo
A robot enters the oversize baggage screening area at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. (Photo courtesy of TSA Fort Lauderdale)

The bomb squad handled the diversion skillfully, developing a mitigation plan to relocate their safe area and split the team to address the second device simultaneously.

They deployed a robot, remotely investigated the threat item and bag and executed a “render safe” plan to prevent the explosive from detonating. The bomb squad then removed the IED from the screening area, placed it in a threat containment unit for transportation and continued to follow further procedures off-site.

From TSA Strategic Communications & Public Affairs