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Air Marshals are still around
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June 26, 2017, 09:21:58 AM *
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MillCreek
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« on: March 20, 2017, 05:17:42 PM »

https://www.wired.com/2017/03/trumps-tsa-budget-fails-cut-obvious-air-marshals/

I had not realized that Air Marshals were still in service.  I wonder if this falls into the 'security theater' aspects of the TSA.
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Warren
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« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2017, 05:39:19 PM »

With a simple change in lettering he could create the Hair Marshals to protect his iconic mane.
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Hawkmoon
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« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2017, 05:58:19 PM »

Quote
We have assessed a policy mix in which the air marshal budget is reduced by 75 percent (still leaving hundreds around for special assignments), the inexpensive program to train and arm pilots to resist hijackers is doubled, and secondary barriers to the cockpiteasily deployable and stowableare installed. The result: better aviation security and a savings of hundreds of millions of dollars each year for both the taxpayers and the airlines.

I have an even better idea. Take American citizens who qualify for the Global Entry program and who have carry permits from any state, and allow them to carry on commercial aircraft. If that's too upsetting a concept, allow any permit holders who are interested to take a class similar to what the pilots go through. Where's our resident Airbus jockey? Does anyone know how difficult it is to qualify as a Federal Flight Deck Officer? (I believe that's the title they bestow on armed pilots.)

If it would get me a free upgrade from the ViseGrips seats to, say, business class AND be able to carry my sidearm, I'd sign up in a jiffy.
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Fly320s
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« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2017, 01:26:33 AM »

Quote
The TSA insists marshals are placed on high-risk flights, but since no terrorist has boarded an airliner in the US with hostile intent since 2001, it is difficult to see how that risk is determined.

No terrorist since 2001?  I guess the shoe bomber and underwear bomber don't count.  I guess only those terrorists who stand up and announce themselves count.
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Fly320s
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« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2017, 01:34:26 AM »

Where's our resident Airbus jockey? Does anyone know how difficult it is to qualify as a Federal Flight Deck Officer?

It is pretty easy, I hear. 
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Fly320s
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« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2017, 03:40:29 AM »

FTR, Air Marshals have been around since prior to 9/11.  They may be scaling back now, but I don't think they will ever disappear.

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DittoHead
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« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2017, 03:48:37 AM »

No terrorist since 2001?  I guess the shoe bomber and underwear bomber don't count.  I guess only those terrorists who stand up and announce themselves count.

Neither of those boarded in the US.
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Fly320s
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« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2017, 04:13:13 AM »

Neither of those boarded in the US.

True, but FAMs work international flights as well.  In fact, they work more international than domestic based on my observations.
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230RN
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« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2017, 04:24:03 AM »

Are they actually cutting back?  Maybe they're just soft pedaling it?

I mean, you know, you call a press conference or let out a press release, and reporters will be all over it again, seeking further "information" they can distort to their own ends.

"Why, after all, one of those big military or police guns with dum-dum bullets can penetrate the plane's walls and will get everybody sucked out of the plane and fall in the ocean or onto the desert."
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Fly320s
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« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2017, 05:16:12 AM »

Are they actually cutting back?  Maybe they're just soft pedaling it?

The number of FAMs has been reduced.  I don't know if that was budget-driven or just the idea that FAMs aren't needed anymore.
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MillCreek
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« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2017, 05:37:15 AM »

Do other countries have the equivalent of Air Marshals?  I thought I had read that El Al flights have undercover onboard armed security.
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MillCreek
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Hawkmoon
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« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2017, 05:53:06 AM »

It is pretty easy, I hear.  


That's not what I've heard. But maybe the reason more pilots don't do it is just that they have to give up a week of their own time to take the training. I found this:

https://www.tsa.gov/news/releases/2015/12/14/federal-flight-deck-officer-training

Quote
The Federal Flight Deck Officer Program trains eligible flight crew members to use firearms to defend against an act of criminal violence or air piracy. Since 2003, TSA authorized federal flight deck officers are trained to use force to guard against individuals attempting to gain control of the flight deck of an aircraft.

Training also includes defense tactics, the psychology of survival and program standard operating procedures. Held in Artesia, New Mexico, training is conducted in a state-of-the-art facility at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center and consists of 56 hours of intense training over the course of six days. Upon successful completion, the pilot is deputized as a federal law enforcement officer and issued a TSA-approved firearm and federal flight deck officer credentials.

Federal flight deck officers are authorized by TSA to carry their firearm onboard an aircraft. Outside of the flight deck, the weapon must be transported in a locked case.

Interested individuals must be a U.S. citizen, have and maintain a current FAA airmans certificate, and have and maintain a current class one or class two medical certificates to be eligible. For additional information about the Federal Flight Deck Officer Program, learn more or apply online.

So the class is a week long, and the candidates have to get themselves to Artesia, NM (anybody ever hear of Artesia, NM?). Pilots, I suppose, can dead-head to get there, but ordinary citizens would have to pay their own way. On the other hand, armed pilots become federal officers in the eyes of the law, whereas I don't see a need to deputize armed citizens. The legal advantage to making pilots into cops is that (1) there may be some relief from liability if they shoot someone in the line of duty; and (2) if anyone attacks them, a charge of assaulting a federal officer can be added to the list of charges (assuming the pilot prevails and the plane survives). If I were flying as an armed passenger, I wouldn't be especially interested in the add-on charge so no need to become a federal officer for the duration of the flight. And relief from liability could be handled with one sentence in a statute. I just don't see a week's training being necessary. It's a simple concept -- shoot the bad guy, try not to shoot any good guys (especially the pilots), don't make unnecessary holes in the aircraft.
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Fly320s
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« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2017, 06:08:57 AM »

That's not what I've heard.

You'll have to trust me; it is. 

But maybe the reason more pilots don't do it is just that they have to give up a week of their own time to take the training

Yes, time and money are big factors.  Also, the lack of "real" threats right now and the convenience of the Known Crewmember checkpoint makes many pilots not even consider the program.  Known Crewmember (KCM) is a program that allows airline crewmembers (pilots and flight attendents) to go to work without having to go through TSA security screening.  We show our IDs to the TSA agent who checks us against the database and if it all matches we are allowed to bypass security.  We are still subject to random screening and other rules, but it is much faster than trying to go through as a FFDO.

Pilots are cheap.  That is a given.  So, few pilots want to volunteer a week of their time to go to Artesia to increase their responsibilities at work without a comparative increase in pay.  Some people go just to get the quality training.  Some pilots became FFDOs to bypass the TSA screening hassle, but KCM makes it easier now, so many FFDOs have dropped out of the program.

FFDOs aren't cops.  They are not law enforcement officers at all and they do not qualify for the law enforcement concealed carry benefit that retired LEOs get.  They are strictly deputized federal officers with very limited powers and jurisdiction.  Big heads, but small jurisdictions.   grin

Being deputized allows FedGov to offer some relief from liability, and more importantly, removes the airlines' liability for a FFDO's actions.
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Fly320s
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« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2017, 06:10:46 AM »

Do other countries have the equivalent of Air Marshals?  I thought I had read that El Al flights have undercover onboard armed security.

Yes, El Al typically does.  They also have a strong security presence on the ground, even though you won't notice them.  I don't know of any other countries that have FAMs, but I'm sure some do.
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RevDisk
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« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2017, 08:23:29 AM »

The number of FAMs has been reduced.  I don't know if that was budget-driven or just the idea that FAMs aren't needed anymore.

Mainly because someone did the math and figured out FAMs were committing felonies at a much higher rate than they were catching them. I think it was 15:1 ratio, and that was being conservative.
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Fly320s
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« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2017, 08:28:40 AM »

But that is fine when the Gov does it.  Right?

Maybe all the FAMs are getting hired by the SS.
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Fly320s
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« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2017, 06:18:00 AM »

Funny timing.  After saying yesterday that I hardly see FAMs on my flights, I had two on my flight.  undecided
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wmenorr67
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« Reply #17 on: March 22, 2017, 06:23:22 AM »

Funny timing.  After saying yesterday that I hardly see FAMs on my flights, I had two on my flight.  undecided

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« Reply #18 on: March 22, 2017, 07:26:13 AM »

Funny timing.  After saying yesterday that I hardly see FAMs on my flights, I had two on my flight.  undecided

They're reading your posts.

Be afraid ... be VERY afraid.

Oh, oh ... what's that black dark green helicopter over my house for?
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MillCreek
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« Reply #19 on: March 22, 2017, 07:27:28 AM »

They're reading your posts.

Be afraid ... be VERY afraid.

Oh, oh ... what's that black dark green helicopter over my house for?

Are those fast ropes hitting the ground?
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MillCreek
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wmenorr67
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« Reply #20 on: March 22, 2017, 07:57:57 AM »

Are those fast ropes hitting the ground?

Think I heard an AC130 overhead also.
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There are five things, above all else, that make life worth living: a good relationship with God, a good woman, good health, good friends, and a good cigar.

Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you, Jesus Christ and the American Soldier.  One died for your soul, the other for your freedom.

Bacon is the candy bar of meats!

Only the dead have seen the end of war!
jamisjockey
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« Reply #21 on: March 23, 2017, 04:10:54 AM »

I've met several and they're glorified bouncers.
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Hawkmoon
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« Reply #22 on: March 23, 2017, 04:34:51 AM »

I've met several and they're glorified bouncers.


Thugs, in other words?
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jamisjockey
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« Reply #23 on: March 23, 2017, 04:40:06 AM »

Thugs, in other words?

Not what I meant.  Meaning they by and large have little terrorism prevention cred.  99.99999999999% of the time they are arresting or subduing drunks or people who took too many ambein on a flight.
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Fly320s
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« Reply #24 on: March 23, 2017, 06:00:11 AM »

Not what I meant.  Meaning they by and large have little terrorism prevention cred.  99.99999999999% of the time they are arresting or subduing drunks or people who took too many ambein on a flight.

Beating up drunks and ambien-popping bitches is what makes the job bearable.
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