Why are there soldiers guarding the airport?

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by Affection, Sep 28, 2012.

  1. Affection

    Affection Original Member

    I'm really not even trying to be facetious or to prove a point by asking a question. I just walked into LGA and there were two men in desert camo with sidearms standing guard. Why? What purpose could this possibly serve? Are police officers insufficient?



    PS - Also playing "state your name" here at LGA for the first time I've seen. Double awesome. But NoS was out of order.
  2. jtodd

    jtodd Original Member

    Are you positive they were military? I ask because I have seen LEO's wearing cammies as their uniform of the day. Another possibility is that they were National Guard. It is also possible that they were actually US military(probably Army) on request as a visual security option. Though if they were, they would be nearly the equivalent of a lawfully armed private citizen(I know, it's NY) to do anything more than defend themselves or report anything suspicious.

    I will add, I don't approve of any of these possibilities on their face. I remember a few times, both before 9/11 and after, meetings and conferences discussing military involvement/action responding to a terrorist event, especially of a WMD. Much of the discussion, at least initially, pertained to posse comitatus. It normally boiled down to letting local law enforcement handle everything(e.g. security, containment, threat assessment/evaluation, investigation, etc.) that was not related directly to the abilities of the emergency response units. These consisted of medical personnel, transport/supply, and decontamination/cleanup operations. This is obviously changing from what I have heard and read recently.
  3. Doober

    Doober Original Member

    United Nations General Assembly
  4. Affection

    Affection Original Member

    A few thoughts:

    1) I am sure they were military (the usual cops are Port Authority which never wear different uniforms), but they were probably National Guard since AFAIK it would be highly illegal to have "regular" troops there.

    2) It may be because of the UN, but:

    2a) LGA is a domestic airport, so that would be a higher level of stupid, and

    2b) Still, why can't cops perform these functions? Aren't they trained to deal with any likely situation better than the military?

  5. saulblum

    saulblum Original Member

    Other than a make-the-public-feel-safe measure -- and maybe that's all it is -- I have never understood the presence of heavily armed soldiers in airports and train stations (e.g. NY Penn Station). They would clearly be no deterrent to a suicide bomber, the threat of which we're constantly warned.

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