Cargo Screening K9 Alliance (CSK9) has become the first company to successfully certify an Explosive Detection Canine Team (EDCT) under the US Transport Security Administration’s (TSA) Certified Cargo Security Program – Canine (CCSP-K9) initiative.
Under this program, 3PK9-C certified private sector canine teams can be deployed to screen air cargo for aircraft operators, foreign air carriers, and other TSA-regulated entities operating under a TSA-approved or accepted security program.
On 26 October, the TSA authorised Third Party K9 – Cargo (3PK9-C) evaluators to begin certifying canine teams to TSA standards effective from 1 November, 2018.
CSK9 immediately responded and requested TSA approved evaluator support from Spectrum Canine Solutions to begin EDCT certifications on the opening day. EDCTs participated in a grueling certification process at its dedicated 3PK9-C testing facility located on CSK9’s 320-acre Canine Academy, in Anniston.
This facility, with its training and management staff, is one of four hubs that will be used to support CSK9 cargo screening operations across the nation.
Ashley Beard and her Vapor Wake K9 Colt became the first dog team to certify under the 3PK9-C program. She has been handling and training detection canines for over 10 years and will be one of the CSK9 HQ-based EDCTs available to support nationwide 3PK9 operations once the TSA CCSP-K9 is fully implemented.
Another 12 EDCTs are already in training and scheduled to undergo 3PK9-C certification in the coming weeks. These teams will begin screening operations at their designated worksites soon after CSK9 becomes an approved Certified Cargo Screening Facility – Canine (CCSF-K9) regulated entity.
CSK9’s president, Paul Hammond said: “I am so proud of our training and support staff, who with very short notice, made a herculean effort to ready the search areas, containers, and boxes to meet the testing layout specifications.
“Our experienced handlers and well-trained canines were spot on, as they accurately detected CCSF-K9 explosive odours hidden within complex cargo configurations. It truly is an honor to be part of this TSA milestone, and witness the first on many to come 3PK9-C certified teams.”
TSA established the 3PK9-C and Certified Cargo Security Program – Canine (CSSP-K9) to provide an efficient and effective method for screening air cargo to TSA standards.