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[OT] USA - TSA Obstructing Armed Pilots?



 
 
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  #1  
Old December 23rd 03, 04:49 PM
No Spam!
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Default [OT] USA - TSA Obstructing Armed Pilots?

All -

I'm especially interested in comments from any of the "current and
former military pilots with top-secret clearances" (as mentioned below)
that might be out there.

---

Where are the armed pilots?
---------------------------
By Tracy W. Price
Washington Post, 12 December 2003

On Nov. 25, 2002, President Bush signed the Arming Pilots Against
Terrorism Act. The law compelled the Transportation Security
Administration (TSA) to train and arm airline pilots who volunteered for
the program. One year later, many Americans believe that large numbers
of airline pilots are now carrying guns. Sadly, they are wrong.
On Aug. 26, the TSA gleefully reported that far fewer airline
pilots have volunteered for the armed pilot program than pilot groups
estimated might volunteer. Currently, only a few thousand pilots have
volunteered for the program out of about 100,000 that are eligible. The
large majority of Americans who support arming airline pilots might
rightfully ask: Where are the volunteers? The answer to the question is
really quite simple.
The TSA has very intentionally and successfully minimized the
number of volunteers through thinly veiled threats and by making the
program difficult and threatening to get into.
Airline pilots practice their profession at the pleasure of the
federal government. Airline Captains must hold an airline transport
pilot's certificate (ATP) issued by the FAA. To gain the experience
required by a major airline, a pilot must have thousands of flight hours
amassed over many years. Once hired by an airline, pilots are required
to demonstrate their proficiency in four-hour long sessions in flight
simulators twice each year. Annually, airline pilots will receive a
"line check" in which "check pilots" ride in the cockpit and evaluate
the crew's performance. Several times each year, FAA examiners without
notice show up to give pilots a check ride. Twice each year, airline
captains are required to report to FAA-designated physicians for a
physical and psychological exam. Medical history is evaluated and a
physical exam with exacting standards is performed. FAA doctors are
trained to ask probing questions, looking for any sign of psychological
instability, stress or depression. Failing to meet the standard for any
of these evaluations will, of course, result in immediate removal from
the flying schedule and loss of any opportunity to be employed as a pilot.
Now, fresh with this backdrop of the professional life of an
airline pilot, consider the armed pilot program that the TSA has
constructed. Understand that the TSA is opposed to the armed pilot
program. Last year, the TSA granted itself the power to revoke a pilot's
ATP if it deems him to be a security threat. Pilots who volunteer for
training to carry guns must complete a very detailed, 13-page
application and submit to a three-hour written psychological exam
probing into the most private workings of any person: his thoughts,
feelings, opinions and emotions. Pilots who pass this
government-sponsored psychological strip-search are then ordered to
report to a government psychologist for a one-on-one "interview."
For the pilots that finally make it into training, they will have
to travel at their own expense to and pay for their own room and board
in Artesia, N.M. Artesia is a four-hour drive from El Paso, Texas, the
nearest city.
Airline pilots evaluate the totality of the TSA's armed-pilot
program and they have declined to participate in droves. Too many
airline pilots view the TSA armed pilot program as a potentially career
threatening fiasco that will cost each pilot who volunteers at least one
week of flight pay and require him to bare his soul to an out-of-control
government agency that hates the idea of armed pilots. Couple this with
the breathtaking failure of many current and former military pilots with
top-secret clearances to pass the TSA psychological evaluations and
pilots are saying, "No, thanks."
To justify their intrusive tactics, the TSA says, "We need to make
sure that each pilot we allow to fly armed can use the gun to kill
terrorists and then be calm enough to land safely." In other words, We
think that you'd be better off dead. Obviously, pilots won't volunteer
for the program in the first place unless they are willing to use a gun.
Moreover, if a pilot is "screened out" of the program by the TSA
psychological soothsayers and terrorists attack his cockpit, the outcome
is very certain: He, all of his passengers and possibly many thousands
on the ground will soon be dead. A logical armed-pilot program would not
be looking for ways to screen pilots out; it would be looking for ways
to encourage more volunteers.
We have endured almost two years of TSA searches of law-abiding
citizens, yet recent news reports show that al Qaeda operatives remain
interested in targeting airliners. Nothing the TSA has done thus far has
sufficiently deterred al Qaeda. Embarrassed by a college student who
easily snuck knives on board airliners, the TSA now plans to use
technology that will "see through" each passenger's clothing and present
them naked to the government screeners.
Further violation of our rights is not the answer, but hardening
the target is the answer. Congress should take all discretion about
which pilots get into the armed-pilot program away from the TSA, just as
36 states have done with "Shall Issue" concealed carry laws.

Capt. Tracy W. Price flies Boeing 737s for a major airline and is the
former chairman of the Airline Pilots' Security Alliance.

Copyright 2003 News World Communications, Inc.

Ads
  #2  
Old December 23rd 03, 05:01 PM
Mongo Jones
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Default

In talk.politics.guns "No Spam!" wrote:

All -

I'm especially interested in comments from any of the "current and
former military pilots with top-secret clearances" (as mentioned below)
that might be out there.


Greg "Wild Weasel" Dean, where are you?
  #3  
Old December 23rd 03, 05:31 PM
Ed Rasimus
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On Tue, 23 Dec 2003 10:49:35 -0600, "No Spam!"
wrote:

All -

I'm especially interested in comments from any of the "current and
former military pilots with top-secret clearances" (as mentioned below)
that might be out there.

---


First, this reply is not cross-posted but only appended to
rec.aviation.military.

I'm a former military pilot who held TS clearance. That is irrelevant
to the article you posted, since I don't fly for the airlines.

TS clearance has nothing at all to do with competence with personal
weapons. A military aviation rating has nothing to do with competence
with personal weapons.

I am an NRA Life Member and have held a concealed carry permit for the
last nine years.

I have a close friend, ex-fighter aviator and current major airline
pilot who is a graduate of both Gunsite and Thunder Ranch. He has a
concealed carry permit in his current state of residence and is a
reserve police sergeant in a major American city near his airline
domicile. He has not been approved (yet) for the TSA training.

Dare we note that federal bureaucracy is seldom the most efficient
solution to major problems. I like the idea of armed cockpit crews. I
like it better than sky marshalls. I am convinced that training is
required, but feel that the training could be better handled by
contract schools rather than federal bureaucrats.

Now, did you have a specific reason for asking for comments from
former military with TS clearances?


Ed Rasimus
Fighter Pilot (USAF-Ret)
"When Thunder Rolled"
Smithsonian Institution Press
ISBN #1-58834-103-8
  #4  
Old December 23rd 03, 05:44 PM
No Spam!
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Ed Rasimus wrote:
On Tue, 23 Dec 2003 10:49:35 -0600, "No Spam!"
wrote:
All -

I'm especially interested in comments from any of the "current and
former military pilots with top-secret clearances" (as mentioned below)
that might be out there.
---

First, this reply is not cross-posted but only appended to
rec.aviation.military.

I'm a former military pilot who held TS clearance. That is irrelevant
to the article you posted, since I don't fly for the airlines.


No, it's not... see below...

....snipped...

Now, did you have a specific reason for asking for comments from
former military with TS clearances?
Ed Rasimus


Ed -

Yes, I did - a very specific reason. I am well aware of the difference
between military & civilian aviation and the purposes of clearances,
having held them myself.

As I stated in my original post, Please read the article, which, in
part, states:

"Airline pilots evaluate the totality of the TSA's armed-pilot program
and they have declined to participate in droves. Too many airline pilots
view the TSA armed pilot program as a potentially career threatening
fiasco that will cost each pilot who volunteers at least one week of
flight pay and require him to bare his soul to an out-of-control
government agency that hates the idea of armed pilots. Couple this with
the breathtaking failure of many current and former military pilots with
top-secret clearances to pass the TSA psychological evaluations and
pilots are saying, "No, thanks.""

I am asking for any feedback: confirming, denying, or otherwise, from
"many current and former military pilots with top-secret clearances".
I'd also welcome feedback from anyone else _knowledable_ about the
subject. If the TSA is failing pilots with former or current TS (or
other) clearances, it is, at least to me, a clear sign the program is
not working as planned and is, as the author suggests, merely a ploy by
the TSA to discourage pilots from trying to get certified.

I realize too many idiots post here, but perhaps you could read the
article in question before deciding I had no valid reason to post what I
posted.

  #5  
Old December 23rd 03, 06:31 PM
Ed Rasimus
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Default

On Tue, 23 Dec 2003 11:44:42 -0600, "No Spam!"
wrote:

Ed Rasimus wrote:
On Tue, 23 Dec 2003 10:49:35 -0600, "No Spam!"
wrote:
All -

I'm especially interested in comments from any of the "current and
former military pilots with top-secret clearances" (as mentioned below)
that might be out there.
---

First, this reply is not cross-posted but only appended to
rec.aviation.military.

I'm a former military pilot who held TS clearance. That is irrelevant
to the article you posted, since I don't fly for the airlines.


No, it's not... see below...

...snipped...

Now, did you have a specific reason for asking for comments from
former military with TS clearances?
Ed Rasimus


Ed -

Yes, I did - a very specific reason. I am well aware of the difference
between military & civilian aviation and the purposes of clearances,
having held them myself.

As I stated in my original post, Please read the article, which, in
part, states:

"Airline pilots evaluate the totality of the TSA's armed-pilot program
and they have declined to participate in droves. Too many airline pilots
view the TSA armed pilot program as a potentially career threatening
fiasco that will cost each pilot who volunteers at least one week of
flight pay and require him to bare his soul to an out-of-control
government agency that hates the idea of armed pilots. Couple this with
the breathtaking failure of many current and former military pilots with
top-secret clearances to pass the TSA psychological evaluations and
pilots are saying, "No, thanks.""

I am asking for any feedback: confirming, denying, or otherwise, from
"many current and former military pilots with top-secret clearances".
I'd also welcome feedback from anyone else _knowledable_ about the
subject. If the TSA is failing pilots with former or current TS (or
other) clearances, it is, at least to me, a clear sign the program is
not working as planned and is, as the author suggests, merely a ploy by
the TSA to discourage pilots from trying to get certified.

I realize too many idiots post here, but perhaps you could read the
article in question before deciding I had no valid reason to post what I
posted.


I responded, as someone meeting the criteria you established and added
some other qualifications to render my opinion from among the
"knowledgeable".

Let me point out a couple of things again--cross-posting is poor form.
Anonymity in both name and domain are poor form. Attacking someone who
responded to your question as not _knowledgeable_ is poor form. And, I
sincerely hope that I don't fall among the "too many idiots" who post
here.

Let me point out also that security clearance is not related to
qualification for line-of-duty weapons carriage. Security clearance
lapses when leaving the military and unless an airline pilot is also
flying Guard or Reserve, they do not normally have a security
clearance.

The article you posted is by an individual who has an opinion, but it
does not support the contention (although I've got little reason to
doubt the validity) that the TSA is a mis-managed bureaucracy. There
is no mention of pilots failing to pass the psychological evaluations
and no relationship between such passage or failure and a current or
past security clearance.

The program is barely a year old. Many airline pilots do not choose to
assume the responsibility of armed intervention. Many pilots eagerly
volunteer. The program is behind in qualification. The standards
required may not be valid. The assumption of qualification by the
candidates may not be valid.

Airline pilots typically fly less than twelve days a month. A week for
training, if they voluntarily choose such a course, is not a "make or
break" hardship for these guys.

Now, let me ask again. You wrote:
I am asking for any feedback: confirming, denying, or otherwise, from
"many current and former military pilots with top-secret clearances".


I ask "confirming, denying or otherwise..." what??? And, you wrote:

If the TSA is failing pilots with former or current TS (or
other) clearances, it is, at least to me, a clear sign the program is
not working as planned


Can you show some evidence of this?

If you ask questions, one can only assume you seek information or
discussion and not that you are simply advocating.


Ed Rasimus
Fighter Pilot (USAF-Ret)
"When Thunder Rolled"
Smithsonian Institution Press
ISBN #1-58834-103-8
  #6  
Old December 23rd 03, 07:05 PM
The Lone Weasel
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

"No Spam!" wrote in
:

All -

I'm especially interested in comments from any of the
"current and former military pilots with top-secret
clearances" (as mentioned below) that might be out there.


Where are the armed pilots?


By Tracy W. Price
Washington Post, 12 December 2003


"No Spam": this is an editorial that appeared in the
WASHINGTON TIMES, not the Washington Post, 11 days ago, which
is why you neglected to provide a URL like the previous
posters of this opinion piece back on the 12th.

cf: Message-ID:

cf: Message-ID: [email protected]

So your attempt at legitimization through fake association
fails.

You're just a gunlobby shill spamming for Glock, eh "No
Spam"?

Laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh.

--

Join the NRA Blacklist!
http://www.nrablacklist.com/

The Lone Weasel
  #7  
Old December 23rd 03, 08:53 PM
Emmanuel.Gustin
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

In rec.aviation.military No Spam! wrote:

: Further violation of our rights is not the answer, but hardening
: the target is the answer. Congress should take all discretion about
: which pilots get into the armed-pilot program away from the TSA, just as
: 36 states have done with "Shall Issue" concealed carry laws.

This seems rather silly to me. Aviation authorities all over
the world take a strict line when monitoring all the professional
skills and qualifications of airline pilots. If carrying guns
is added to the package of their tasks, then why should they
be any less strict about that? The logical thing to do, if pilots
have to act as air marshalls as well, is to give them the full
training of air marshalls, so I suspect one week's training is
an absolute minimum anyway. I also think that it is very sensible
to build in barriers to deflect away people who wouldn't take
the responsibility seriously enough.

If the TSA is inefficient, bureaucratic, and unfriendly about it,
what's new? The entire system seems to be that way. Personally
I try to limit contact with US airlines and US airports to
a minimum, even if that means having to take a flight from
Heathrow (still, not nearly as bad as Boston).

--
Emmanuel Gustin




  #8  
Old December 24th 03, 03:35 PM
Dudley Henriques
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Default


"No Spam!" wrote in message
...
All -

I'm especially interested in comments from any of the "current and
former military pilots with top-secret clearances" (as mentioned below)
that might be out there.

---

Where are the armed pilots?
---------------------------
By Tracy W. Price


response restricted to rec.aviation.military

I don't understand why you are posting an article that states an opinion,
then asking for information on security clearances without stating your
reasons for seeking the information and/or your opinion on the posted
article. Not that there's anything sinister about that, but I think I can
tell you up front that most of us who have gone through a security clearance
situation don't really talk about it, even in private.....at least that's
been my personal experience. I think I can tell you with some degree of
authority however that those who WILL discuss these things with you failed
the security investigation :-)))
I don't believe you are going to gender much response here with this type of
post; at least from anyone who has actual experience with these matters.
If all you want are opinions on the article, I would suggest you say so. I'm
sure there are those out here with opinions both pro and con on the armed
pilot issue. If this is the case, I'll submit to you that I'm for arming
pilots and in no way interested in discussing the in's and out's of the
security clearance mechanism.
Dudley Henriques
International Fighter Pilots Fellowship
Commercial Pilot/ CFI Retired
For personal email, please replace
the z's with e's.
dhenriquesATzarthlinkDOTnzt




  #9  
Old December 24th 03, 06:23 PM
Mike Marron
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Posts: n/a
Default

"Dudley Henriques" wrote:

I don't understand why you are posting an article that states an opinion,
then asking for information on security clearances without stating your
reasons for seeking the information and/or your opinion on the posted
article. Not that there's anything sinister about that, but I think I can
tell you up front that most of us who have gone through a security clearance
situation don't really talk about it, even in private.....at least that's
been my personal experience. I think I can tell you with some degree of
authority however that those who WILL discuss these things with you failed
the security investigation :-)))


I've been following this thread with interest and was just curious as
to exactly what constitutes a "security clearance." Can't you even
provide us with a vague, thumbnail sketch of what a top secret
security clearance is?

I don't believe you are going to gender much response here with this type of
post; at least from anyone who has actual experience with these matters.
If all you want are opinions on the article, I would suggest you say so. I'm
sure there are those out here with opinions both pro and con on the armed
pilot issue. If this is the case, I'll submit to you that I'm for arming
pilots and in no way interested in discussing the in's and out's of the
security clearance mechanism.


With family flying down to visit over the holidays, my darling wife is
all worried about their safety due to the raised threat-level from
Arab terrorists. I can certainly understand why guys like you and Ed
aren't interested in discussing the in's and out's of the security
clearance mechanism, but again, since the topic was brought up
can't either of you briefly explain what a security clearance is and
why it's so important? Again, just asking and please pardon my
ignorance.

Interesting article, BTW.

Dudley Henriques
International Fighter Pilots Fellowship
Commercial Pilot/ CFI Retired
For personal email, please replace
the z's with e's.
dhenriquesATzarthlinkDOTnzt




  #10  
Old December 24th 03, 06:57 PM
Tarver Engineering
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Mike Marron" wrote in message
...

I've been following this thread with interest and was just curious as
to exactly what constitutes a "security clearance." Can't you even
provide us with a vague, thumbnail sketch of what a top secret
security clearance is?


It is a security violation to even say you have a "top secret" clearance,
Mike. The psyche exam is someting the system has wanted ever since the
first airliner pilot suicide was confirmed. When the system was made up of
mostly ex-mil operators, such screening was not thought to be necessay, as
military pilots had already been conditioned to produce an expected
response.


 




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