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Article By: Gainesville Regional Airport
Gainesville Regional Airport (GNV) announced May 23, a new addition to its family: an explosives detection K-9 named “Beamer.”
Gainesville Alachua County Regional Aviation Authority Chairman Bob Page and CEO Allan Penksa welcomed a crowd of well-wishers at a ceremony held May 23, at GNV, welcoming the female yellow Labrador retriever, who along with her handler, Jason Berger, successfully completed all requirements to be the airport’s new explosive detection team.
“Together, Beamer and Jason will add an extra layer of security at our airport,” Penksa said. “We are thrilled to welcome such a bright and beautiful member to our airport family.”
Beamer and Berger, GNV’s Security Coordinator and K-9 Handler are certified in the detection of Homemade and Large Explosives. In addition, Beamer received her certification from the American Detection Canine Association.
Beamer was named for Todd Beamer, who led a takeover by passengers on United Airlines Flight 93, the fourth plane to go down in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in Shanksville, Penn. Mr. Beamer and others are credited with foiling the 9-11 hijackers from crashing their Boeing 757 into what could have been a second target in Washington, D.C., either the Capitol or the White House. Todd Beamer had a 13-minute conversation with a telephone operator as the tragic events unfolded. His last words heard by her were, “Let’s Roll.”
Beamer was made possible in part by a 50-50 grant by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT).