TSA on the Job: Transportation Security Specialist-Explosives

TSS-E Ogden providing exlosives training to officers.

As a transportation security specialist–explosives for TSA, I provide a critical layer of security. When our officers at the checkpoint have concerns about an item or image during screening, they call on me to provide advanced alarm resolution. This means that I’m responsible for ensuring that the item isn’t a potential bomb.

All specialists, like me, are former members of a public safety or military bomb squad. I served 14 years in the United States Army and deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan as the platoon sergeant of an explosive ordnance disposal company. In many ways, my work with TSA is a continuation of that experience.

I provide training to TSA officers on explosives and improvised explosive device detection, as well as concealment and smuggling techniques. Working in an airport is an exciting and fast paced environment. TSA officers have to be vigilant and well-prepared as they focus on their important job of preventing dangerous items from boarding an aircraft.

My mission extends beyond the airport. I work throughout central Florida conducting training, performing vulnerability assessments, and sharing information on evolving threats with our partners in the rail, bus, pipeline and maritime services.

Explosive devices are the number one threat to aviation, and terrorists are firm in their intent to do us harm. Some days, 70,000 travelers pass through my airport’s checkpoint – almost the equivalent of the entire population of my hometown. My goal is to ensure every one of them gets to their destination safely.

Craig Ogden
Transportation Security Specialist-Explosives
Orlando International Airport (MCO)

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