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Saint Lucia partners with TSA on security

CASTRIES , Saint Lucia, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- Transportation authorities from the United States and Saint Lucia announced a partnership Tuesday to strengthen aviation security for the Caribbean island.

Officials from the U.S. Transportation Security Administration announced the security partnership with the Saint Lucian Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation as part of the TSA's Aviation Security Sustainable International Standards Teams, or ASSIST, program.

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As part of the ASSIST program, a team of TSA security experts will travel to Saint Lucia to help assess and develop a security program for the island nation's airports compatible with modern security operations at airports in the United States, the TSA reported.

Saint Lucia becomes the first country to take part in the TSA's ASSIST program. Officials say the TSA is planning to include several more countries as part of an effort to increase security for passenger air traffic into the United States.

"TSA's partnership with the ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation in Saint Lucia is a win for everyone involved, most notably passengers," Cindy Farkus, TSA Office of Global Strategies assistant administrator, said in a statement.

"This alliance will build a robust aviation security system on the island and will simultaneously raise the baseline of aviation security throughout the Caribbean and in all nations with air service to and from Saint Lucia."

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