In September, we wrote about how TSA was created in the aftermath of 9/11 to protect our nation’s transportation systems. This week, we’re celebrating the 20th anniversary of TSA’s inception.
Since our origin, we’ve taken significant steps to improve the safety of our transportation system, keep travelers safe, and improve the security of our country. In 20 years, we’ve improved technology and procedures, and we continue to adapt to the ever-evolving security threats. Nearly 20 years ago, we had the vision to be agile, to build a professional workforce, and to engage with our partners and with you, the traveling public.
“I can’t believe it’s been 20 years,” said Robert Nunnery, a Customer Care Manager at Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport who has been with TSA since 2002. “We have more face-to-face contact with the public than anyone else in government. I like seeing how we’re still building and changing, and I am excited to see what’s next.”
There’s still work to be done, as the world around us continues to grow, evolve and advance, but there’s so much to look back on and take pride in.
We’ve federalized over 440 airports, streamlining airport transportation security. We’ve expanded the Federal Air Marshal Service to include overseas deployment for our elite law enforcement team. We built TSA PreCheck, ensuring a smoother screening process and expedited security lines. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we implemented changes at our checkpoints to further protect travelers from possible health risks.
If you’re a loyal reader of this blog, you know all of this already plus so much more that we’ve accomplished since our start. You know about our AskTSA team, who are online seven days a week to help answer any last-minute travel questions. And you know about our TSA Cares program was put into place to help travelers with disabilities, medical conditions, or other circumstances where additional assistance is needed.
What you may not know about are the efforts TSA is making to continue to diversify and empower our workforce. We know that our success, both now and in the future, lies in our commitment to our people, and we strive for a culture that allows for innovation.
“I remember the day I put on this uniform and was sworn in with a sense that I was a part of something bigger than myself,” said Apryl Daniel, a Training Specialist in Washington. “But understanding my individual role in (TSA) has never left my thoughts.”
We formed the Inclusion Action Committee in 2020 – a coalition of TSA leaders dedicated to directly engaging with employees, checking in and working to ensure that we’re a fair and equitable place to work. But this commitment to really, truly, listening to the workforce and implementing change doesn’t begin and end at a headquarters level.
“I set up an ideas group for the team here in Texas,” said Nunnery. “Sometimes people choose to focus on the reasons why things don’t work. We want to find the reasons why it will, and we can have fun while doing it. We spend our days, and the majority of our lives, at work. We should make it fun and make it a place where we want to be.”
As we look ahead, we will do all we can to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to uphold our mission and keep travelers safe each and every day. We continue to reaffirm our core values of integrity, respect, and commitment. And we will build a real sense of belonging with our workforce. If you want to be a part of our future and TSA, we’re now hiring at airports near and far.
“TSA has so many amazing people who, despite what else may be going on in the world, choose to clock in and say ‘not on my watch,’” Daniel told us.
One thing both Daniel and Nunnery echoed: “It’s been a wild ride, and I’m looking forward to the years ahead.”