As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, I think of all the things we celebrate as a country. And while there are all types of celebrations, the constant is the coming together.
I see it as my job to help families and loved ones come together in a safe and secure homeland. From conducting research to developing and transitioning new technologies, S&T is dedicated to protecting our nation’s communities, our airports, places where we celebrate national pastimes, and all the places and things that make the homeland home.
As one of the busiest travel times throughout the year, many head to our nation’s airports to find their way to a Thanksgiving celebration. To facilitate this great flow of travel, we have made efforts to implement screening at speed technologies and processes through our Apex Air Entry/Exit Re-engineering (AEER) program that helps lawful travelers to move quickly through checkpoints, and target those who mean to do others harm.
In stadiums across the country, fans come out in droves for football. Behind the scenes are the many technologies that DHS, industry and first responders use to keep our stadiums secure. Whether it’s through promoting SAFETY Act technology certification or monitoring the social media trends to get real-time information about possible incidents, S&T is dedicated to focusing on security so fans stay focused on who is winning.
As families gather around feasts, I think about our food supply and S&T’s efforts to keep it safe. In our labs, we have developed and continue to develop vaccines, and this year broke ground on the National Bio and Agro Defense Facility in Manhattan, Kansas so we can develop the vaccines of the future.
As you come together this Thanksgiving with loved ones, know that your security is at the top of our priority list. I’ve talked about just a few of the many ways S&T works to keep our nation safe, but there are many more places where we are protecting what matters the most. On Thanksgiving, I am thankful for the opportunity to be part of a team focused on such a vital mission. I hope you and your loved ones have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.
Dr. Reginald Brothers
Under Secretary for Science and Technology