USA — No Grenades on Commercial Flights, TSA Tells Troops

WASHINGTON, July 6, 2010 — The Trans­porta­tion Secu­ri­ty Admin­is­tra­tion is remind­ing mil­i­tary mem­bers that explo­sives are not allowed on com­mer­cial flights.

TSA spokesman Lau­ren Gach­es said agency work­ers occa­sion­al­ly encounter ser­vice­mem­bers 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.

Ser­vice­mem­bers trav­el­ing with pro­hib­it­ed items is not a com­mon prob­lem, but it can be dis­rup­tive, Gach­es said.

“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 said.

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, accord­ing to the TSA web­site. A full list of TSA-pro­hib­it­ed items is avail­able at

“At TSA, we salute the men and women of our armed forces and thank them for their ser­vice to our coun­try,” Gach­es said in a pre­pared state­ment. “We always look for­ward to part­ner­ing with our ser­vice­mem­bers dur­ing the secu­ri­ty screen­ing process as we strive to achieve our mutu­al mis­sion of pro­tect­ing our home­land.”

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)