TSA stands for transport security administration and it has been formed for the purpose of transportation security with a responsibility for security in all modes of transportation.
It has been specifically formed to protect the security problems in aviation along with highways, railroads, buses, mass transit systems and pipelines.
The birth of TSA can be compared to the cloning baby that is bought to the world in a few months and similarly to that, the TSA has been formed after the incidence of 9/11 attack.
TSA formed by USDOT:
It has been originally formed by US department of transportation and came into existence on NOV 19, 2001 and later on in March 2003, TSA transferred from the Department of Transportation to the Department of Homeland Security to the USA department of homeland security.
  • TSA has been formed to strengthen the security of the nation's transportation systems while ensuring the freedom of movement for people and commerce.
  • Transportation security in all aspects is important because poor transportation security is the primary reason for all terrorist attacks.
Airport Security
The reason behind the tight airport security is 9/11 attack and after this attack, the TSA act was immediately passed by the US congress and signed by the President George W. Bush.
The main goal is to protect the airport and aircraft from crime and other attacks. They concentrate to prevent the attackers from bringing harmful weapons or bombs.
Aircraft hijacking
Aircraft hijacking is done by the terrorist to attack the major cities and states and they use this method most often to destroy other countries. After the 9/11 attack, the pilots and attendants were trained to adopt some tricks and methods to prevent this and the TSA officials are very keen and careful to avoid this hijacking.
Federal air marshal
They are generally involved in detecting and defeating terrorist activities within the USA and if necessary they safeguard other transportation system also.
Transportation security inspectors
They conduct assessment, investigation and inspection of passengers. TSA have around 1000 aviation inspectors, 450 cargo inspectors and 100 surface inspectors. Their duty is to provide complete inspection in airport and cargo transportation system.
National Explosives Detection Canine Team
They are the mobile teams and prepare dogs and handlers to locate and detect dangerous material that are threat to the transportation system. The TSA has trained 430 canine teams for the transportation security purpose.
Depending on the assigned function, a TSO's initial training consists of about 130 hours, 70 of which are on the job. More than 3,800 IED drills are conducted at checkpoints nationwide. Approximately 45,000 images of dangerous and prohibited items are projected onto X-ray screens during daily checkpoint operations.
TSA officer identifies the wanted man
TSA officers in Ohio airport found a man who was wanted by the US coat guard. The officer was suspicious of the man's action and as a result of his action he was identified as a suspect in the coast guard alert.
Federal air marshal team saved a life
Federal air marshal are known for their security and due to their immediate response they saved a life. While walking to their assigned gate, the FAM team discovered an unconscious passenger lying on the floor near the departure area and found that the passenger had stopped breathing. With their immediate medical assistance they saved the passenger life.
Suspicious shoe spotted at TSA check point
Transport security officers found a shoe that was concealed with knife. The pair of shoes was passed through the x-ray and founded a 2-inch blade that was concealed in the tongue of the shoe.

What does TSA do to accomplish their mission?

TSA Grants

In the wake of terrorist activities, there is a need to safeguard the sensitive areas in public and nation's transportation infrastructure. TSA provides security grants to various mode of transport like transit systems, intercity bus companies, freight railroad carriers, ferries and the trucking industry for enhancing the security process. High end security process with efficiency would be maintained by these grants in a way that the risks to the nation's transportation system would be reduced. Each area of significance would be covered under a specific program and the security processes are given awards and recognition on successful completion. The transportation security provided enhanced training, public awareness and mock drills.

Law enforcement

The primary mission of TSA is the protection of air passengers and crew. Federal Air Marshals serve as the primary law enforcement entity within TSA who extend their services to homeland security and work closely with other law enforcement agencies. The members of Federal Air Marshal Service are dedicated, well trained law enforcement professionals and are capable of maintaining the aviation safety and security.
Under the armed security officer program specially trained personals would be deployed on board in every aircraft. There are canine and explosive detection program in which dogs would be trained for explosive detection. Flight crew members are given basic self defense training under the law enforcement programs.

Layers of security

Since the security of public transportation and nation's transportation system are of utmost importance, TSA use layers of security measures. The transportation security officers deal at the front end and they are mostly employed at the airport checkpoints. However these checkpoints only form a single layer of the many security layers imbibed to protect aviation.
Security measures are so rigid that each one of these layers alone is capable of stopping the terrorist attack. The combined effect of the layers would multiply the security value forming a strong and formidable system. Intelligence gathering and analysis, checking passenger manifest against watch lists, random canine team searches at airports are some of the more convoluted security layers.

Screening partnership program

The security concerns of TSA are not confined to transportation services alone. For providing security screening services to air passengers and baggage, TSA has initiated a unique approach known as screening partnership program or Opt-Out. An airport operator may apply to have security screening conducted by personnel from a qualified private contractor working under Federal oversight.
Under the program, TSA's technology, experience and resources would be combined with the private sector operational expertise and currently private contractor screeners are placed at nine airports across the country. A cost effective and seamless transition is done through security officers and private security screeners as TSA join hands with airport management and a qualified screening company.

Security screening

Around 600 million people fly each year along with the million bags that accompany them. Ensuring security at airports as well as on the aircrafts is the primary objective of TSA. Hence every passenger and every bag boarding a commercial aircraft is screened at the airports. Even the international travelers arriving at US for taking a connecting flight are also subjected to screening. Any kind of terrorist or criminal activity is averted as the highly trained security officers make use of the latest technology and equipment combined with scalable screening techniques and layers of security. The multiple layer of screening includes monitoring air cargo to flight students.

Transportation sector network management

Nation's intermodal transportation require intense security and TSA's Transportation sector network management will ensure the safety by building a flexible, robust and sustainable network joining private and public sector partners. The transportation systems sector comprising aviation, maritime, mass transit, highway, freight rail and pipeline is critical to nation's economic vitality and its security is the mission charged to the sector partners.
Through a complex network of the various modes of transportation, large volumes of goods as well as individuals are moved across cities on a daily basis. The process of executing a strategy to ensure effective, efficient and standardized operations with the transportation modes have been carried out by the office of transportation sector network manage.

Financial assistance team

For the smooth implementation and advancement of TSA's security objectives through various programs, financial assistance team issues assistance awards to eligible US airports. In addition the assistance team provides guidance and oversight to TSA program offices and recipients of the awards. They also make sure that the programs are administered in compliance with applicable Federal laws and regulations.
The financial assistance team is solely responsible for generating agreements and modifications regarding the awards in accordance with federal regulations. And also they ensure that the funds are distributed to the eligible recipients in a timely manner. In addition, they conduct site visits along with program office personnel.