Published on Tuesday, June 2, 2015

TSA chief removed after security failures

The acting director of the Transportation Security Administration has been removed from his post following a report highlighting widespread security screening failures at several major airports.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Melvin Carraway has been reassigned to another post at the Department 'with immediate effect.'

"I thank Melvin Carraway for his eleven years of service to TSA and his 36 years of public service," Johnson said in the statement.

He will be replaced by Mark Hatfield in the interim, until the likely appointment of Coast Guard Vice Admiral Pete Neffenger, who was nominated for the permanent post by President Barack Obama earlier this year.

A recent DHS report highlighted flaws by TSA officers in spotting fake explosives and weapons carried through checkpoints by undercover Homeland Security agents.

In 70 attempts, DHS 'red team' agents carrying mock explosives and weapons managed to get through unopposed on 67 occasions.

"The numbers in these reports never look good out of context but they are a critical element in the continual evolution of our aviation security," Johnson said.

"We take these findings very seriously in our continued effort to test, measure and enhance our capabilities and techniques as threats evolve."

 Johnson said unannounced covert testing of TSA screening standards at the nation's airports would continue.

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