Pago Pago Int’l Airport security police undergo annual firearms training
Pago Pago International Airport Police Security officers have “successfully completed” their annual firearms training, which includes live-fire exercise that were held in Hawai’i, with the assistance of the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) office in Honolulu.
The first part of the training, conducted at the Tafuna airport, involved a written exam and hands-on training or close to 30-hours of instructions, says a Port Administration official in a statement announcing completion of the firearms training this past summer.
It says the written exam was based on firearms safety and training procedures, adding that an in-depth knowledge of safety features on the 38 handgun and the elements of handgun marksmanship or the techniques to engage targets with precision and accuracy must be mastered by officers.
“Officers must achieve a minimum score of 70% out of 35 questions on the written exam. The manipulation test of the hands-on component was based on presentation—drawing the weapon and simulating firing,” the statement says.
“It included checking the chamber of the weapon, performing speedy reloading, muzzle integrity—keeping the muzzle of the weapon straight towards target, and trigger finger integrity, or keeping the trigger finger off the trigger until ready to shoot,” it says. “Officers must achieve a minimum of 32 points out of 45,” it says.
The second part of the training, held in Honolulu, was the live-fire exercise which consisted of engaging their duty weapon, the 38 special, Smith and Wesson revolver handgun with pop-up targets from the distances of 3 meters, 5 meters, 7 meters, 10 meters, and 15 meters, from the standing supported-position.
According to Port Administration, TSA officials in Honolulu assisted the Firearms Training by acquiring the firing range from the U.S Coast Guard and providing "safety" during the live-fire exercises.
Samoa News understands that the airport security officers are only armed during Hawaiian Airlines flights, which is the time when TSA officers are on duty at the airport. It is a TSA requirement that airport security be armed while they are on duty.
The news release also states that Pago Pago Airport Police derive their authority from ASCA 46.0202 and therefore possesses the power to arrest those who offend any rules, regulations, orders, or laws of American Samoa.
Additionally, Pago Pago Airport Police are armed with a firearm and are authorized under the American Samoa Code Annotated, Title 46, Section 46.0203 to carry and use it in the performance of their duties.
Port Administration says firearms training is conducted annually for “familiarization and certification.”
The Honolulu training was conducted in two groups - the first one with 11 officers who departed June 17th with their team leaders - officers Patolo Galoia and Joshua Failautusi. Team members were officers Ti'it'iatalaga Sasagi, Miriama Dorson, loane Sagaga; Vitolio Suega, Isaako Tafiti, Misiona Tuimaseve, Soonafai Pona, Kelona Falefia, and Makereta leti.
The second group of nine officers, under the leadership of officers Pania Wilson and Peniamina Faumuina, departed June 23. Team members are officers Alapati Mailo, Penelope Seuava, Pati Feagiai, Clint Leuta, Joseph Mulivanu, Tony Agatonu, and Kay Letufuga.
Fii Sagapolutele contributed to this report
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