TSA UHF

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TLF82

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Finishing up a trip across the country in 3 airports now I see the TSA "agents" carrying a few VHF XTS Motorola's (as expected) but almost every person is wearing an icom UHF rig it looks like.

Anyone have the info on these?
 

ecps92

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Most of the Icoms I have seen were VHF (Analog, and some with Speech Inversion encryption)

Chris will probably jump in as he travels more

BTW your Link to the photo did not come thru

Finishing up a trip across the country in 3 airports now I see the TSA "agents" carrying a few VHF XTS Motorola's (as expected) but almost every person is wearing an icom UHF rig it looks like.

Anyone have the info on these?
 

TLF82

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Ah, ok. They may be vhf, the stub antenna just looked like uhf.

There was not supposed to be a link to a picture.
 

TLF82

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That makes more sense. I was wondering why they would add more frequencies when they already have vhf in place.
 

TLF82

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Haha nope...
I'd take a pic but no need to piss off the wanna be "police"
 

ChrisP

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All I have ever seen the TSA carry are the Icom F-50V VHF radios. And yes, they ordered the short VHF antennas that look like UHF at first glance. They are using the analog voice inversion option most of the time, but I have occasionally run into someone in straight analog with no inversion.

- Chris
 

ecps92

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ChrisP

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Of course, I meant to say that these Icom radios are used in addition to the P25 radios. I framed the response to the OPs mention of "UHF" radios.

Some TSA checkpoints have many of the screeners using the Icoms, with only the supervisory personnel using the P25 radios. Other areas have only the P25 radios and are not using the Icoms at all. Your mileage may vary...

All I have ever seen the TSA carry are the Icom F-50V VHF radios. And yes, they ordered the short VHF antennas that look like UHF at first glance. They are using the analog voice inversion option most of the time, but I have occasionally run into someone in straight analog with no inversion.

- Chris
 

sefrischling

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TSA is VHF, even the non-standard 13 channel layout, is VHF. TSA uses Icom, with some Motorolas thrown into the mix and they primarily P25 with the option to encrypt as needed.

The range of TSA's radios is limited in most airports, for example TSOs at JFK T1 cannot hear JFK T5. Most real communication within the TSA is via phone, they have serious protocol and training issues.


I know this as I've spent the past 13 years as a professional journalist covering primarily aviation, transportationand homeland security.
 

jvdet

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There are some airports that use private or local operations personnel or companies and i have found them on UHF and they dress almost in the same style uniforms
 

sefrischling

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There are some airports that use private or local operations personnel or companies and i have found them on UHF and they dress almost in the same style uniforms
Yes, SFO and MCI are the big two ... but they are not TSA.

At SFO Covenant Security, known as Team SFO is on 451.2625 , with a PL of 254.1.

Front line, who runs screening operations at MCI is on 462.4125, 467.2375, 467.4125, 467.2500, 467.3875. All are CSQ.
 

KE7JFF

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Yes, SFO and MCI are the big two ... but they are not TSA.

At SFO Covenant Security, known as Team SFO is on 451.2625 , with a PL of 254.1.

Front line, who runs screening operations at MCI is on 462.4125, 467.2375, 467.4125, 467.2500, 467.3875. All are CSQ.
SFO does have one or two TSA managers there acting as liasons; if I remember right they do carry both a UHF portable and a VHF portable.
 

sefrischling

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KE7JFF

The TSA has overlapping staff for various administrative purposes at all airports participating in the Screening Partnership Program.
 

SCPD

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Haha nope...
I'd take a pic but no need to piss off the wanna be "police"
A friend of mine had been with the TSA since its inception. He took an early retirement a couple of years ago as the chief of intelligence of TSA. He started inspecting luggage and carry on in a smallish airport where he was part time. He was an action junkie and transferred to larger and more active airports as his career progressed. He was offered a temporary detail in intelligence and showed so much talent he rose through the ranks to eventually head the division or branch. He traveled more than half the time, sometimes to foreign countries. He worked at least 12 hours/day when he traveled. Back in the office his usual days were 10 hours per day. He was a FLSA exempt (Fair Labor Standards Act) employee so he was paid for 8 hours. He was very sharp and his rise to the headquarters of the agency was due to this, his dedication, his willingness to work as long as needed and his effectiveness. The agency knew they had a valuable asset. However, a reorganization was to take place that would have added many of the duties of a position that was cut. The agency offered him the next grade level above his.

His immune system started to weaken from the stress and although he knew he could handle the new duties he also had to admit he could not continue to work as hard as he did. He was in his mid 30's and realized that making 30 years was probably unlikely due to increasing health problems. He was offered, to the agencies regret, an early retirement. He cashed out and started a security firm (no rent a cops) with the money. The company grew quickly due to word of mouth advertising and he soon had some very important clients. His time with his time with the TSA allowed him to bring knowledge and experience to the effort. He sold the company because he didn't want to work in the security field for the rest of his life.

He used the money to start a restaurant and bakery business with his brother, a former NTSB employee who also took an early retirement cash out. The business took off quickly as both had some prior food industry experience. They started catering due to customer requests for the service and they picked up a small regional airline as a client. As is common in the federal government they are both very good at human resource management. The feds have training opportunities and requirements that are excellent, something I'm aware of this due to my own experience. As the business has grown they have established positions to delegate the increasing workload. They have filled nearly every one of these positions with people that started with them as waiters and such. They grew the best employees of their business so they had some known people to fill the new positions. Employee morale is very good. They both love the work and the positive stress. Both are healthy now.

The stress federal employees experience includes the following factors:

--The meddling of members of the Congress and department level politically appointed people in matters they have little or no knowledge of. Some very showy member of this group (those who play up to the CSPAN cameras and such) don't want to know what the the issues are and actually refuse offers by agencies to take them on show me trips. They form opinions based on gossip and anecdotal data while opposing what the agencies are doing in spite of valid science and experience the agencies use.

--Lack of respect by the Congress and public. The public's opinion of science is at an all time low and both approach the agencies with perspectives not based on reality. My experience with this while working for the U.S. Forest Service in 4 states on 4 National Forests is extensive. I won't elaborate on this, but being socially ostracized and treated with disrespect in small, rural towns with populations from 650-8,000 people. Yes, the largest town I've lived in 37 years is 8,000 people and I consider it the big city. I've retired in this "big city" and experienced the worst disrespect and unfriendliness here of any of the towns I've lived in.

--Members of the Congress, some members of presidential administrations and the public who don't understand the cause and effect link when considering budgets, passing laws and designated new units or reclassifying existing units. They expect a workforce to continue absorbing additional work without considering the consequences and reality. Establishing new national monuments and designating national recreation areas is difficult for the USFS and BLM and to some extent the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. One example of adding additional units is the highly visited Land Between the Lakes unit in Tennessee that had been managed by the Tennessee Valley Authority that was re-designated as a National Recreation Area to be managed by the U.S. Forest Service. The agencies look forward and agree to take on the work that results most of the time. The USFWS has the fewest employees per acre of any of the federal land management agencies and adding additional refuges and conservation easements is difficult for them to absorb given the limited number of employees they have. The National Park Service has been absorbing new units for decades and often do not have additional funds or personnel allocated over a long term to manage them. Positions from other larger units are often reassigned to the newer units. 7 new units were added this month. People love the parks and desire, although valid reasons, additional new units. The parks that lose positions to these new units are overwhelmed by the losses.

--Statements that federal employees are under worked. overpaid, lazy and incompetent. The people I worked with were all dedicated to natural resource conservation and made life decisions to enter careers and professional fields. They planned their educations and worked toward them, usually based on a decision made in high school. Examples of these positions are wildlife biologists, foresters, geologists, range conservationists, soil scientists, botanists, archaeologists, ecologists . . . Almost everyone I worked for and with were dedicated,, hard working, knowledgeable and effective employees. The exceptions I observed number around 10. Four of them worked under me as seasonals and three of those were not rehired. One was a permanent, college educated individual that I was told to fire when I transferred to my third ranger district. I had great supervisory training and developed a performance improvement. He responded with enthusiasm and eventually became a major go to employee on the forest and the next forest he transferred to, the forest where he retired. I worked with him extensively and the results were one of the best memories of my career. On my last ranger district I developed a performance improvement plan for 1 seasonal and ended up having to do an employee misconduct investigation of him. I provided sufficient information for the Forest Supervisor to terminate him. The most notable exception of the 10 was my supervisor when I worked in the boonies of New Mexico. He should have been fired, but his supervisor did not take it on. Given I worked on 4 national forests, each with 100-175 employees, 10 cull employees, 5 that were seasonals, 10 out of 400-700 is a low number.

Back to my friend, he has related that most field level TSA employees are not interested in law enforcement or carrying a weapon. Some recent incidents have resulted in some field level employees wanting armed personnel working at airports. If that constitutes "wannabe" then there are some. Almost every person that want to enter a career are wannabes as some point and move on to "abe" if things work out for them. My friend told me that most baggage and carry on inspectors are not "wannnabe" cops. The statement cited above can be inferred as a derogatory.

My friend and I experienced statements like this from day one to the last day during our careers and we are not as thick skinned as we should be. We've both taken enough crap that we should ignore, but we have our limits.
 
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