WASHINGTON – A new program aimed at providing senior level transportation security officials with first-hand experience of the Transportation Security Administration’s various counter-terrorism and risk reduction roles in enhancing industry security is providing real-world experience and detailed industry exposure to TSA’s surface security programs and policies.
The program, which began as a pilot last September, has seen one executive from Amtrak and one from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority participate in the program so far. A representative from the Bay Area Rapid Transit Authority is scheduled to participate in May.
“The Loaned Executive Program expands TSA’s information sharing capability in meeting our vision for a more secure and resilient national transportation system founded on strategic industry partnerships,” said Eddie Mayenschein, TSA’s Assistant Administrator for Security Policy and Industry Engagement.
“The program provides our stakeholders with a shared understanding of risks through information and intelligence sharing, thereby supporting and enhancing industry’s ability to detect, prevent and respond to acts of terrorism,” said Sonya Proctor, Director of TSA’s Surface Transportation Division.
Individuals selected to participate in the program work directly with TSA’s surface division during the six-week assignment at TSA headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. Participants in the program are required to have a minimum “Secret” clearance level and are typically high-ranking security professionals such as deputy chiefs of police whose agencies cover expenses of the loaned executive while he or she is participating in the program.
The loaned executives also have the opportunity to visit “sister” transit and commuter rail agencies during their brief tenure and are introduced to other security topics such as aviation cargo security, current and emerging science and technology initiatives, TSA’s explosives ordnance division and other cross-modal groups within TSA. “The visit is a true learning experience because the participants have the opportunity to observe smart, effective security practices in action at other agencies, which enables them to bring back lessons learned,” Proctor explained.
Executives work side-by-side with designated TSA senior industry subject matter experts in the areas of mass transit and passenger rail, freight railroad, pipeline, maritime, and highway motor carrier as well as other transportation security experts. The final week includes a visit by key TSA managers to the stakeholder’s agency for a tour of command operations and a review of security programs.
Individuals interested in participating in the program should contact Fred Goodine, TSA’s Corporate Relations Officer for the Surface Division of the Office of for Security Policy and Industry Engagement, at Fred.Goodine@tsa.dhs.gov.