The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its component offices have worked diligently to serve the American people across all fronts while making health and safety precautions a top priority. As the American homeland continues to open up, DHS’s components continue to see a return to pre-COVID operations. Most recently, the Transportation Security Administration saw an uptick in travel over Labor Day Weekend.
“Passenger volume on the busiest day of the Labor Day weekend was up 30% from the busiest day of the July Fourth holiday weekend. This is an encouraging trend for the aviation sector as airports, airlines, and TSA work together to ensure a secure and safe travel experience for passengers,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “For travelers who have not flown since the beginning of the pandemic, the TSA checkpoint experience will be noticeably different as compared to last year. Passengers also play an important role in helping us ensure they safely and efficiently get through security screening at our airports while wearing masks and respecting social distancing.”
Management Agency (FEMA)
Providing Full Federal Reimbursement for States’ National Guard Forces. On August 3rd, President Trump granted an extension for the use of the National Guard under Federal Title 32 orders to respond to COVID-19 until December 31, 2020. As of September 14th, 16,398 National Guard troops have activated in T-32 duty status and 239 troops have activated in State Active Duty status to help with testing and other response efforts. To date, President Trump has approved 49 National Guard requests for federal support for the use of National Guard personnel in a Title 32 duty status through December 31. For those states and territories that are approved under these criteria, FEMA executed a fully reimbursable mission assignment to the Department of Defense, including reimbursement for pay and allowances of National Guard personnel serving in a Title 32 duty status in fulfillment of the FEMA mission assignment.
Coordinating Deployment of Federal Personnel to Support States’ Efforts. FEMA continues to lead the operational coordination for the federal interagency response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As of September 14th, there are over 19,831 federal personnel deployed across the country from FEMA, HHS, CDC, DoD, National Guard, and VA to support state, local, tribal and territorial COVID-19 response efforts. FEMA and our interagency partners are constantly tailoring staffing and resources across agencies, ensuring we can provide support when and where it’s needed most.
Federal Law Enforcement
Training Centers (FLETC)
Science and Technology (S&T)
Ready to Ensure Safety During the Summer Travel Period. On September 8th, TSA issued a press release announcing it had screened nearly 1 million passengers on Sept 4 as well as surpassed 3 million passengers during the Labor Day weekend. In the announcement, the agency spotlighted its push to aggressively implement self-service and touchless technologies to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. On September 9th, TSA issued a press release regarding the deployment of a new CT scanner at Eppley Airfield that allows the TSA officer to view a 3-D image that can be rotated on three axes for thorough visual image analysis by a TSA officer. Such technologies help TSA officers to clear items without having to open the bag, thus reducing physical contact with the traveler’s property. On September 10th, TSA announced the deployment of new acrylic barriers at checkpoints throughout La Guardia Airport in NYC. The acrylic barriers are part of TSA’s efforts to minimize contact between TSA officers and passengers.
On September 11, TSA hosted a commemoration ceremony in honor of the victims of the 9/11 attacks. TSA Administrator David Pekoske said:
“September 11th was a traumatic day and a tragedy that continues to be felt by all Americans, including many TSA employees who were directly affected by the attacks and subsequently joined the newly-formed agency. We continue to commemorate this day to comfort each other, to strengthen our resolve and to recommit ourselves to the mission entrusted to us by our fellow Americans. We also continue to aggressively adapt and mature as an agency in the face of new challenges. The pandemic has given us a renewed urgency in our pursuit of new solutions to enhance transportation security.”
United States Coast Guard (USCG)
Reservists. As of September 11th, the USCG has recalled and deployed 429 Reservists in support of COVID-19 operations. They are activated to serve in numerous types of roles, including work in IT support, medical clinics, PPE warehouses, command centers and other incident management roles, notably assisting federal partners such as HHS, and supporting state emergency operations centers on behalf of FEMA.
U.S. Immigration and
Customs Enforcement (ICE)
U.S. Customs and Border