Federal air marshals are dedicated to keeping the nation’s civil aviation system safe. As law enforcement officers under the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), air marshals are trained to blend in with airline passengers in order to detect, deter and prevent hostile actions against air carriers, passengers, crews and airports. Air marshals also serve as assistant federal security directors at many airports to ensure law enforcement coordination.
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Air Marshal Job Requirements
The following requirements must be met in order to qualify for an air marshal job:
- Bachelor’s or better degree in a field such as criminal justice, police science, homeland security or aviation management
- Three years relevant experience such as doing criminal investigations, performing inspections to meet aviation regulations, implementing aviation policies or performing security risk assessments
Plus these basic requirements:
- Citizen and resident of the United States
- Under the age of 37
- Good health, including vision and hearing
- Excellent physical condition
- Able to qualify for a top security clearance
- Willing to work 24-hour shifts, overnights and on weekends
Hiring Process for Federal Air Marshals
Applicants must successful complete the following steps in order to become an air marshal in Alabama:
- Fill out an online application form at the TSA employment website
- Preliminary screening
- Suitability assessment
- Medical examination
- Psychological Screening
- Panel interview
- Drug test
- Background investigation
- Physical fitness evaluation
- Complete training
For questions about job openings or the application/process, call 1-877-872-7990.
Training Requirements for Air Marshal Jobs in Alabama
Air marshal recruits must successfully complete the following two-part training:
- A 35-day basic training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Artesia, NM, followed by
- A 43-day training at the Federal Air Marshal’s Training Center in Atlantic City, NJ
The following elements are included in the air marshal training program:
- Drawing and firing a gun under stressful conditions
- Firearms proficiency
- Investigative techniques
- Criminal/terrorist behavior recognition
- Defense strategies
- Aircraft specific tactics
- Close quarters self-defense
- Physical fitness – Includes strength, flexibility, agility, cardiovascular and defense training
Alabama Air Marshals in Action
Alabaman Robert Prince was arrested after creating a ruckus and assaulting an air marshal aboard a flight to Houston. A female passenger seated next to Prince, who was being loud and boisterous, complained that he was inappropriately touching her. A male flight attended asked an air marshal who was on board to change seats with the woman. However, the Alabama man attempted to prevent the exchange and when the air marshal identified himself, Prince struck the marshal several times. Thanks to the quick action of the air marshal, Prince was restrained and now faces a possible 20 years in prison for interfering with a flight crew.
Major Airports in Alabama
Birmingham Shuttlesworth International Airport is located five miles northeast of downtown Birmingham, Alabama’s largest city. In 2012 the airport served over 2.8 million passengers with over 100 flights a day to national and international destinations.
Huntsville International Airport (Carl T. Jones Field), situated 10 miles southwest of downtown Huntsville, is part of the Port of Huntsville. It served 606.127 passengers in 2010 and is noted for having the second longest runway in the southeast. The airport is currently undergoing a major expansion.
Dothan Regional Airport is six miles northwest of the city of Dothan which sits at the southeastern corner of the state of Alabama. Although half of its flights are devoted to military aviation training, it still served 41,453 civilian passengers in 2010. Dothan’s airport is limited to one regional carrier.
Montgomery Regional Airport is located seven miles southwest of the state capital. The west side of the airport is an Alabama National Guard base. Montgomery Airport served 188,177 passengers in 2011 with nonstop flights to Atlanta, Charlotte and Dallas.