The transportation sector is the backbone of the U.S. economy. Thus, when a transportation network is interrupted for any reason, there is a significant effect on U.S. economic infrastructure. Transportation systems frequently face the threat of natural disasters, accidents, and terrorist attacks. Terrorist attacks can have a debilitating effect on critical infrastructure, public safety, and the economy. Since the mid-1990s, the transportation sector has been the target of over more than 250 terrorist attacks worldwide resulting in nearly 1,000 deaths and more than 6,000 injuries. The increase in the level of transportation-focused terrorism highlights the importance of enhancing transit security through training and improved coordination to prevent, interdict, respond to, and recover from terrorist attacks and other security-related actions. In fact, the 9/11 Commission characterized the Federal emphasis on aviation security spending as “fight[ing] the last war,” noting that “opportunities to do harm are as great, or greater, in maritime and surface transportation sectors.”
Airports serve as an important gateway for personal and business travel. In response to pre and post- 9/11 attacks, the air transport system has implemented a myriad of security measures to mitigate current threats and will require adjustments in the future to adapt security systems to the ever evolving threats.
SenseMakers’ experts have conducted operational coordination, response and recovery training and preparedness exercises on airport incidents.
Rail and Passenger Rail Systems
In recent history, transportation rail systems have served as highly attractive terrorist targets. Rail systems are open systems moving millions of passengers across great distances. They make scheduled stops along fixed routes and operations depend on passengers having quick and easy access to stations and trains. These characteristics and others make them prime targets for terrorists. To combat this vulnerability, SenseMakers’ experts have provided training and exercise support to Amtrak’s nationwide security program. Moreover, SenseMakers personnel have developed personal security and countersurveillance training courses for the Orange County Transportation Authority. The techniques, tactics, and procedures provided to these agencies have made them more prepared to respond to all-hazard and man-caused disasters.