TSA to restart self-defense training for flight crew members

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(Nexstar DC photo)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WOWK) — The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) says it will be restarting its Crew Member Self-Defense training beginning in early July.

Before the program was paused due to COVID-19 restrictions, the training was in place to help flight crew members keep passengers and themselves safe onboard aircraft.

The TSA says assaulting or threatening flight crew members is a federal crime, and those who do so could face civil penalties, criminal fines or imprisonment.

The TSA says the program is important especially with the number of unruly passenger incidents increasing.

“Through this training program, TSA’s Federal Air Marshals are able to impart their specialized expertise in defending against and de-escalating an attack while in an aircraft environment,” said Darby LaJoye, Senior Official Performing the Duties of the TSA Administrator. “While it is our hope that flight crew members never have need for these tactics, it is critical to everyone’s safety that they be well-prepared to handle situations as they arise.”

The TSA says for the voluntary four-hour program certified instructors are brought in to teach flight crew members effective defensive measure techniques to respond against a potential attacker on commercial passenger or cargo aircraft. According to the TSA, crew members will learn how to identify and deter potential threats and apply self-defense techniques if needed.

Officials say the training is free and is available at 24 locations across the United States. The TSA says all active flight crew members for domestic carriers are eligible to register for the training program.

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