TSA senior leaders travel out west to visit surface training facility

Friday, May 28, 2021
Senior Leaders photo

Three top senior leaders from TSA headquarters got an up close, personal look at the agency’s surface transportation side of the house during a visit to Pueblo, Colorado. That’s where TSA’s Surface Transportation Security Readiness Facility (STSRF) is located.

“As a hands-on operational training facility, the STSRF is one of the best kept secrets in TSA,” said Mel Carraway, TSA’s Region 4 security director for Surface Operations.

Federal Railroad Assc. photo
From left, Tom Woodhams of the Federal Railroad Administration, TSA Chief of Staff Holly Canevari, TSA Operations Support Chief of Staff Kristen Best and TSA Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Deputy Administrator Stacey Fitzmaurice (Photo by Mel Carraway)

Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Deputy Administrator Stacey Fitzmaurice, TSA Chief of Staff Holly Canevari and Operations Support Chief of Staff Kristen Best traveled 1,700 miles from headquarters to Pueblo to check out the facility.

Carraway served as host and believes the STSRF offers a true partnership opportunity within TSA and with other federal agencies.

“The STSRF focus is on surface transportation – freight rail, passenger rail, hazmat, infrastructure, pipeline,” Carraway said. “It also supports the agency’s Explosives Operations Branch, federal air marshals, Intelligence & Analysis and external government partners such as Customs and Border Protection, the Federal Railroad Administration, FBI, state and local first responders and Transport Canada.”

During their visit, it was a day full of activities for Fitzmaurice, Canevari and Best. Joe McDonough, Surface Operations program manager for the STSRF, and the first Transportation Security Inspector Class of 2021 greeted them. The senior leaders toured the facility and engaged with the students as they participated in hazardous materials training.

Carraway said the visitors from HQ were also able to experience 110 miles per hour travel by taking a ride on a new high-speed train currently undergoing testing at the TSA surface training facility.

“The facility is currently testing new, innovative technologies and train systems,” noted Carraway.

So, the cat is out of the bag. With TSA’s growing focus on surface transportation, the STSRF may not be one of the agency’s best kept secrets for much longer.