Transportation Security Administration marks opening of Corps-built Canine Training Center

Published March 4, 2016

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers joined with Transportation Security Administration and Joint Base San Antonio officials to mark the dedication today of the $12 million Canine Training Center.

The new facility is designed to support the mission to provide, train and certify highly effective explosives detection canine teams. The 25,000 square-foot facility has seven new classrooms and a 100-seat auditorium and administrative space, along with a parking lot and courtyard. The new building is a partnership among TSA, JB San Antonio-Lackland and the Corps’ Fort Worth District, which built the facility in a little more than a year.

“The center, which used to train a hundred new teams a year, will now be able to train 175 teams,” said Lt. Col. Clay Morgan, deputy commander, Fort Worth District, USACE, during the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “That’s measurable progress in keeping our citizens safe wherever they travel around our Nation.”

The facility is “an ideal complement to the existing training center campus,” said TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger in remarks at the dedication in front of the center this morning. “Our canines and their handlers come here to learn the skills necessary to demonstrate proficiency in four key elements: the canine’s ability to recognize explosives odors, the handler’s ability to interpret the canine’s change of behavior, the handler’s ability to conduct logical and systematic searches and the team’s ability to locate the explosives odor source.”

The program outgrew the original facility, which was located on base but not adjacent to where the dogs and handlers train at venues that replicate real-life scenarios. The new facility is now across the street from the field training center and kennels. The Fort Worth District will be completing a 50-dog-run kennel nearby.

The structure will be certified at the LEED Silver standard for sustainability set by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design of the U.S. Green Building Council. This energy-efficient, water-conserving building was erected using green resources and materials as part of federal leadership in sustainable construction. 

Col. Alexander I. Smith, commander, 502nd Installation Support Group, said the successful partnership that came together to build the new center is exactly what the Pentagon’s joint-base concept is designed to accomplish. The Corps, TSA and JB San Antonio-Lackland worked hand-in-hand throughout the development process.

TSA trains and deploys both TSA-led and state and local law enforcement-led canine teams in support of day-to-day activities that protect the transportation domain and provide a visible deterrent to terrorism. TSA trains to operate in the aviation, multimodal, mass transit, and cargo environments.

Federal, state and local law enforcement officers from across the country travel to San Antonio to take the 10-12 week courses. They are paired with a canine teammate and undergo strenuous training. These very effective, mobile teams can quickly locate and identify dangerous materials that may present a threat to transportation systems.

The classrooms will be used to conduct sessions on canine health and wellness care, obedience, search patterns and techniques, explosives handling and safety, and myriad other mission critical topics. Thirteen indoor venues are located on the premises that mimic a variety of transportation sites, such as a cargo facility, an airport gate, a checkpoint, a baggage claim area, the interior of an aircraft, a vehicle parking lot, a light rail station, a light rail car and an air cargo facility.


About the Fort Worth District: The Fort Worth District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was established in 1950. The District is responsible for water resources development in two-thirds of Texas, and design and construction at military installations in Texas and parts of Louisiana and New Mexico.  Visit the Fort Worth District Web site at: and SWF Facebook at:

Jim Frisinger
819 Taylor Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76102

Release no. 16-016