TSA to Troops: Leave Your Bombs at Home
TSA spokeswoman Lauren Gaches said agency workers occasionally encounter service members who have packed inert grenades or other prohibited items in their luggage, often as a keepsake from the battlefield. “The problem is, when you’re looking at that through an X-ray machine, you can’t tell the difference” as to whether it could explode, she said.
Gaches said that, although it is not a common problem, service members traveling with prohibited items can be disruptive. “From time to time, we see folks traveling with this type of material, and it has to be surrendered,” she said, adding that such items are not returned.
If security officers find prohibited items, they may have to close checkpoints or baggage areas temporarily, or call in bomb squads, Gaches added.
Prohibited items include blasting caps, dynamite, fireworks, flares, hand grenades and explosives, either real or replicated. TSA permits other items such as firearms and ammunition in checked luggage—not carry-on baggage—but airlines may be stricter.
“At TSA, we salute the men and women of our armed forces and thank them for their service to our country,” Gaches said. “We always look forward to partnering with our service members during the security screening process as we strive to achieve our mutual mission of protecting our homeland.”