The Air Transport Association of America (ATA), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, said they were pleased with President Obama’s intent to nominate Army Major General Robert A. Harding (retired) as assistant secretary of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
“We are pleased to learn of the president’s intent to nominate Major General Harding to be TSA assistant secretary. We look forward to working with him to enhance our nation's aviation security,” the ATA said.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano also applauded the move. "Effective transportation security involves protecting our citizens from constantly evolving threats while facilitating legal travel and trade around the country and throughout the world," said Secretary Napolitano. "Bob's national security expertise and extensive experience in the Intelligence Community and U.S. Army will be a great asset to the Department in our efforts to ensure the safety of the nation's transportation systems."
As TSA Assistant Secretary, Harding will leverage his extensive national security and intelligence experience while overseeing efforts to protect America's aviation network, railroads, ports and mass transit systems, security operations for 450 federalized airports throughout the nation, and the Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS).
Before entering the private sector, General Harding completed 33 years in the U.S. Army, where he served in progressively challenging command and staff assignments. He retired as the Army's Deputy G2 (Intelligence) in 2001. From 1996-2000, he was the Director for Operations at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).