Weather plays a lot of funny tricks on our ability to get around as human beings. It also seems to cause some extremely uncomfortable attitudinal issues with people that you don’t necessarily want to mess with. In airports this can lead to a meeting with the Transportation Security Administration, or TSA, dogs and their handlers.
While sitting in the South Carolina Airport, literally praying for a flight back to Chicago, a very handsome German Shepherd, Brit, stood guard with his handler Kimberley Barnett. It is hard to imagine such a nice pair doing such incredibly dangerous work as bomb sniffing in airports.
Brit is a certified Explosives Detection TSA Canine that underwent the National Explosives Detection Canine Training Program or NEDCTP. His training included finding bombs and other explosive materials. He was trained at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.
Brit is a fine dog born on March 8th, 2007. He currently lives with Kimberley, his Transportation Security Inspector and Handler in Goose Creek, South Carolina and subsequently travels throughout the entire state wielding his services. When asked, he has only had to employ his nose once at the airport in Charleston – thankfully!
While passengers and passerby are discouraged from petting Brit, Brit is able to administer love in any direction that he sees fit; luckily being a recipient of his very affluent dog kisses. For a big, strong and extremely brave dog, Brit also has lots of love to administer! Barnett stated that he loves to play after work. His business card states that he also (like any other canine) loves to run and chase squirrels. He is typical for a loving canine, just atypical in the work that he does.
On February 6th of 2013, Bart Jansen of USA Today submitted an article about questions being raised about the TSA retaining the dogs to get involved in even more services; screening passengers in addition to cargo. With this new plan, the TSA wants to field 120 canine teams nationwide by the end of 2013. Although there are ongoing tests, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has reported that the canine teams have repeatedly failed to meet training requirements of four hours every four weeks. Hopefully new reports will come back in March that state the requirements are being met. It is nice to see dogs guarding us from harm in airports. For dog lovers in general, it is great to know that the love dogs have to give is ever-present no matter where we are.
Dogs are retained these days to do very important tasks. It is great to know that we are loved and protected – especially from unimaginable harm where we least expect it. Way to go Kimberley and Brit. You make an awesome team and the public is grateful for your service!