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Author Topic: TSA Employees "urged" to get ham licenses?  (Read 14917 times)
K1DA
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« on: August 13, 2013, 02:05:56 PM »

   Any truth to the rumor that TSA employees have been "encouraged" to get at airports.  According to what was represented to me at a club meeting several thousand people may have been licensed as Techs. 
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K1CJS
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« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2013, 04:50:20 PM »

If I may ask, where did you see/hear that?  Inquiring minds would like to know.
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K0OD
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« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2013, 08:27:24 PM »

If you Google "TSA" and "ham license" you'll see that there are several reports of the air security agents being encouraged to become hams, I guess to broaden their communications knowledge. Sounds screwy to me.

http://sanantoniohams.org/blog/?p=469
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N0IU
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« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2013, 03:15:42 AM »

The article does not say that they will be using amateur radio specifically in their duties as TSA agents, but I get the idea that since they are in positions of "authority", that they be prepared to assist in the event of an emergency.
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KG4RUL
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« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2013, 06:10:48 AM »

A lot of the references to this are found on "black helicopter" sites. 

wink wink
nudge nudge
say no more  say no more

With apologies to Monty Python
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W6EM
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Posts: 812




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« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2013, 06:46:24 PM »

Quite a while ago, Army MARS was proud to announce that TSA was a "served" agency.  So, that meant that MARS members were going to set up at TSA locations at airports to provide communications bridges when requested.

Not surprising that TSA would encourage its employees to get licensed so they can be MARS members.

And MARS operation is not regulated by the FCC, so Part 97 restrictions on employment use don't apply....

73,

Lee
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N7WR
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« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2013, 06:45:07 PM »

Given what I think of the ability, skill level, common sense and judgment of the average TSA worker (a make work project if there ever was one) they would fit right in with the whacker crowd.  I'm sure the league would be more than happy to provide them with 2 hour instant licensing classes.  What a crock
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W6EM
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« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2013, 09:23:18 PM »

LOL.  Imagine the fun if they carried two HTs and they couldn't figure out which one to grab and respond with. Grin
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K1ZJH
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« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2013, 09:41:58 PM »

TSA agents are as human as anyone else.... what you have to understand is that they are forced to be drones by their job descriptions and the iron clad procedures they are forced to follow. Does anyone actually believe they are allowed to think and act rationally, instead of following a strict protocol that has been laid out for them?

Pete
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KS4VT
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« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2013, 06:55:59 AM »

LOL.  Imagine the fun if they carried two HTs and they couldn't figure out which one to grab and respond with. Grin

They don't have to.  TSA (DHS) communications is in the VHF band so their radios could be crossprogrammed and set up for scan with priority.
The fun for them would be management of those radios that have extended programmed that includes Amateur Radio frequencies.

I coordinate with my local TSA Director and they crossprogram their radios with the local 800 MHz trunking system that I manage and their local VHF system.
They have not requested any local amateur frequencies at all to be programmed into them to date.
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K1CJS
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« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2013, 05:52:30 AM »

It may be more than likely that the TSA people who are being requested to get their ham tickets are in areas where there aren't larger populations, and therefore aren't the extended official communications facilities of the larger metropolitan areas.  Along the east coast from DC to Boston, for example, the people there probably aren't being encouraged to get their tickets while in the midwest and the plain states, they may well be so requested to do so.  It depends on the area and the serving agencies capabilities in that area.
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W6RMK
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« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2013, 09:40:12 AM »

It could also be that there is a ham radio club at some TSA location, and they thought it would be a good idea to increase membership.  Since nobody has actually cited any sort of "official" directive, and it would be unusual for there to be an official reason.  OTOH, there are ham clubs in all sorts of businesses, why should TSA be any different.

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KS4VT
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Posts: 141




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« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2013, 04:55:09 PM »

It may be more than likely that the TSA people who are being requested to get their ham tickets are in areas where there aren't larger populations, and therefore aren't the extended official communications facilities of the larger metropolitan areas.  Along the east coast from DC to Boston, for example, the people there probably aren't being encouraged to get their tickets while in the midwest and the plain states, they may well be so requested to do so.  It depends on the area and the serving agencies capabilities in that area.

San Antonio, Texas is not what I would consider an area with a small population as it has 1.3 million people. http://www.city-data.com/city/Texas.html
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W6EM
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« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2013, 06:14:58 PM »

.......  OTOH, there are ham clubs in all sorts of businesses, why should TSA be any different.
Government at any level is different than free enterprise(s) or individuals.  There have been many instances where local government violators were not prosecuted whereas others have been for the same abuses.  The FCC has a storied history of selective prosecution in this regard.

TSA was/is a "served agency" of Army MARS.  A condition of MARS Membership is amateur licensure.  However, as I said earlier, MARS is regulated by NTIA and individuals operating on MARS frequencies are exempt from FCC enforcement/regulations while doing so with respect to their conduct of operations.  So, federal government or contractor employee MARS members can use MARS frequencies to assist their employers coincident with their employment duties with impunity.

 



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KG4NEL
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« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2013, 06:26:18 PM »

TSA agents are as human as anyone else.... what you have to understand is that they are forced to be drones by their job descriptions and the iron clad procedures they are forced to follow. Does anyone actually believe they are allowed to think and act rationally, instead of following a strict protocol that has been laid out for them?

Pete

True. At the same time, I have to believe that free-thinking, ambitious, intelligent people tend to filter out of such positions over time - whether in the TSA or not - and what's left is, well, what you get left over.
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