Homeland Security Secretary Reassigns TSA Head, Tells Agency To Revise Airport Security Procedures

After yesterday’s report that undercover government agents were able to sneak mock explosives and weapons past Transportation Security Administration checkpoints at airports in 95% of tests, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson is making some changes: He’s reassigned the acting administrator for the TSA and says he’s directed the agency to revise screening procedures “to address specific vulnerabilities identified” in the undercover operation.

Johnson said in a statement that acting administrator Melvin Carraway has been moved to the Office of State and Local Law Enforcement at Department of Homeland Security headquarters, reports Reuters, with TSA Acting Deputy Director Mark Hatfield moving into his spot to lead the agency until a new acting administrator is appointed.

Although Johnson noted Monday that the results of the security checks included in the report from Homeland Security’s inspector general were classified, he’s directed the TSA to tweak things to address the results of those tests, as well as ordering training for all TSA officers and supervisors across the country and testing of airports’ screening equipment. There will also be more random covert testing at checkpoints, Johnson said.

“The numbers in these reports never look good out of context but they are a critical element in the continual evolution of our aviation security,” Johnson said. “We take these findings very seriously in our continued effort to test, measure and enhance our capabilities and techniques as threats evolve.”

Homeland security chief reassigns top TSA official [Reuters]