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TSA Expands Pre-Check Program To Military Personnel At Reagan National Airport

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Passengers wait to clear security next to the newly opened TSA Pre-Check lane in Miami, Fla., on Oct. 4, 2011.
Passengers wait to clear security next to the newly opened TSA Pre-Check lane in Miami, Fla., on Oct. 4, 2011.

WASHINGTON -- U.S. military personnel traveling out of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport will now be able to skip long security lines as part of the Transportation Security Administration's expansion of its trusted traveler program known as Pre-Check.

Under the pilot program, which could eventually be adopted at other U.S. airports, active-duty service members with a military identification known as a Common Access Card would be eligible to use dedicated lines at Reagan National security checkpoints. While they would still be subject to random screening, soldiers, airmen, sailors, Marines and coast guardsmen would be granted Pre-Check benefits, such as no longer having to remove their shoes or light jacket. They would also be allowed to keep laptops and small liquid containers in their carry-on luggage.

"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," said TSA Administrator John Pistole in a speech Monday at the National Press Club.

The announcement expands the number of travelers the TSA has designated for less-invasive screening as part of its move away from the one-size-fits-all security adopted after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Last year, TSA changed the rules on pat-downs for children under 12 and has made accommodations for travelers with disabilities and medical conditions through a special hotline.

About one million people currently belong to TSA Pre-Check and several international traveler programs run by Customs and Border Protection. The program is expected to expand to 35 of the nation's busiest airports by the end of 2012. It is open to members of airline frequent flyer programs who are invited to join by the programs' carriers.

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