Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Airline Security, You believe this?

A few days ago I was over at  Tam's  blog where she had a bit about the TSA and airline security. I remember after 9-11 thinking that security would go nuts at airports, that is just the way the government reacts to everything I also said at the time that what happened that day would never happen again because in the past we were conditioned to negotiate with hijackers and everything would be fine but now passengers would fight back in order to save the plane, a fact borne out by the flight over Pennsylvania.   Tam's blog also reminded me of an experience I had a few years back and how rules are followed without any common sense.
 I was awaiting a flight to Iraq. Our battalion was leaving Gulfport Mississippi, we were flying on a DC-10 operated by World, a commercial airline which had been contracted to transport us. We were not leaving through a passenger terminal but were bussed to the plane and boarded via steps on the outside. As we were waiting to board the plane we were informed that because this was a commercial flight we could not bring knives, razors etc aboard the aircraft. On the surface this may sound reasonable seeing as we were making a layover in Bangor Maine and would be entering the terminal in the secure area where other passengers had been through security. What made it idiotic was we were carrying fully automatic weapons, every one of us had an M-16, We were boarding the plane with over 500 M-16's and 9 mm pistols and you want us to hand over knives? There was a bag we were supposed to drop knives into and we would get them back on the other end of the flight. I decided I would NOT give up my knife so I promptly opened up the butt plate on my weapon, took out the cleaning kit and secured it in my cargo pocket and dropped my knife in the butt stock, I assumed they would not make us strip the weapon down. I was right the knife was never discovered. It was quite amusing as we taxied down the runway the pilot came over the PA system and made the announcement, " Thank you for flying World Airlines with us today, please remained seated while the seat belt lamp is lit. Turn off all electronic devices during takeoff, please stow all weapons on the deck facing outboard, We hope you enjoy your flight, thank you for serving our country" ....................It was then quite.
A little while after we had taken off the pilot came back on the PA and announced, " you are now free to roam aboard the aircraft, the cockpit is open feel free to come up and visit with us" Later in the flight I did go up to the cockpit and sit down and talk with the pilots and got a mini tour of the flight center. The airline was very good to us which goes to show the TSA are the 'anal' bunch. But the government knows best, and now they want to be in charge of our health care seeing as they do everything else so effectively.
PS, The ones that turned knives in to security never saw them again.


  1. Ah, man don't you just miss the old days. I flew from the Philippians to Pearl Harbor with a 1911 in my ditty bag stowed in the overhead compartment back in 1971.

  2. Unbelievable! I didn't know if I should laugh or cry at our stupid establishment. Thanks for the laugh! Glad you kept your knife.

  3. cheez whiz - i was Canadian Forces (ok everybody - stop laughing right now!). anyway - when we flew to Alert all of our weapons were put in a pile at the back of the plane. as for our soldiers that flew to Afghanistan and back - they kept their weapons.

    see the thing was - we had no effin roundss in our magazines. and here is the shocking truth - our guys in the sandbox SHARE magazines if you can even believe that.

    it gets my dander up just thinking about it! time to go and check the roast in the oven.

    Duke - thanks for stopping by our blog and leaving such a sweet comment. we appreciate it!

    your friend,

  4. Stephen, Coming back it was more relaxed, wish I had brought more home
    Mamma Bear, sometime nothing makes sense.
    Kymber, we did keep weapons and because they are highly controlled our security guys had ammo.

  5. When I did airline catering we had to seal our trucks when we left commissary., So TSA knew our truck had come from our airline building. But if we left the airport security area and went to the local 7-11 we did not have to seal up the truck again.

    So before I got into my truck I would open the back to make sure no one had climbed up inside. More for my safety then TSA. I even asked our airline security boss and my boss about it. Their reply was if TSA says its ok, then no issue.

  6. Rob's Bunker, I guess there is lots of flaws in the security system and if someone is bent on breaching it they could.

  7. The people making these decisions are the same 'security' goons who feel they can't trust the pilot to carry the same steak knife the passengers get with the in-flight meals.

    Airline security is a joke.

  8. Jake, I agree 100% it is a joke, they should let the airlines be responsible for their own security, leave TSA out of it.

  9. I had a friend whose outfit boarded a .mil flight at a civilian airfield.

    The contract security guy did the whole "relieve the PAX of their knives and nailclippers" thing at the gate. He then handed the bag to the loadmaster, who gave it a "What the heck am I supposed to do with this?" look and passed it around the a/c as soon as the doors closed.

  10. Tam, It does seem there is very little concern for military flights in general which begs the question, why bother at all? even though we went through the motions there was no follow up enforcement.