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On the Spot with the US Department of Homeland Security

Posted: January 3, 2018 by Jim Park

Article by Stephen Babcock, Heavy Duty Trucking Magazine

A team of experts from the Transportation Security Administration offered both classroom and hands-on presentations on improvised explosive devices (IEDs) on July 26 at this year’s Fleet Safety Conference in Schaumburg, Illinois.

The team was led by David Cooper, highway and motor carrier manager at TSA, Daryn Frank, supervisory transportation security inspector, and Danny McGuire, transportation security specialist for explosives out of TSA’s Chicago field office.

After brief introductions by both Cooper and Frank, McGuire took the stage and gave the audience an historical and technical overview of IEDs and their capabilities. He also presented a handful of videos demonstrating their destructive effects.

After briefing the audience, McGuire led them outside to a hands-on demo that included searching for IEDs on a mixer truck, provided by Ozinga Brothers, and a Ford Transit van. Using vehicle inspection mirrors, two teams consisting of FSC attendees searched both vehicles for IEDs, finding devices that included pipe bombs, grenades set to explode when doors were open, both timed and remote devices, as well as devices that would be triggered by movement.

The presentation was adapted to improve the attendees’ fleet security posture as part of TSA’s Intermodal Security Training and Exercise Program (I-STEP). TSA performs these exercises as part of I-STEP, which includes active shooter, hostage, and other similar demos. Fleets may choose to contact TSA to perform security assessments on their truck operations, free of charge. For more information, contact David Cooper at David.cooper1@dhs.gov.

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