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TSA begins rollout of PreCheck program for military personnel

By Mike A. Ahlers, CNN
updated 2:13 PM EST, Mon March 5, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The program for military personnel will be launched at Reagan National Airport
  • Active-duty personnel will have to show their Common Access Card
  • If the program is successful at the Washington airport, it will be expanded to others

Washington (CNN) -- U.S. military personnel will be eligible for expedited screening at Reagan National Airport -- a stone's throw from the Pentagon -- as the Transportation Security Administration continues to roll out its trusted traveler program known as PreCheck.

Beginning later this month, all active-duty service members and on-duty National Guard troops and reservists will be allowed to use the PreCheck lane at the airport.

They do not need to be in uniform, but must have a military identification known as the Common Access Card.

Transportation Security Administration chief John Pistole announced the program in a speech in Washington Monday.

"U.S. service members are entrusted to protect and defend our nation and its citizens with their lives, and as such, TSA is recognizing that these members pose little risk to aviation security," Pistole's prepared speech read.

Service members will have the same benefits as other PreCheck participants. They will not need to remove their shoes, nor will they have to remove laptop computers from their bags, or take off light jackets or coats.

As with all other passengers, however, service members may face random, unpredictable security checks.

If the program is successful at the Washington airport, it will be expanded to others, TSA officials said.

The existing PreCheck program is available to fliers who have enrolled through frequent flier programs. The TSA expects to expand PreCheck to 35 of the nation's busiest airports by the end of the year.

Pistole said the "risk-based, intelligence-driven program" allows TSA officers to focus their attention on unknown travelers who are more likely to pose a risk.

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