The federal air marshal service is part of the transportation security administration (TSA). Armed air marshals travel incognito on passenger airlines in order to detect, and prevent hostile acts targeting US air carriers, passengers, crews and airports.
Alaska has more general aviation airports (over 400) than any other state; however, the last frontier has the greatest land area so it actually ranks 47th among states for the most airports per square mile.
Educational Requirements for Air Marshall Jobs in Alaska
Candidates for federal air marshal jobs are required to have at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year college/university. Good fields of study include criminal justice, homeland security, public safety, aviation management or police science.
Alaska has an excellent public university system that offers undergraduate and graduate programs on three campuses located in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau.
The city also has four private four-year schools and five two-year community colleges that can be a jumping-off point for a later transfer to a four-year institution.
Alaskans can also earn their degree at several accredited online schools.
Other Requirements for Becoming an Air Marshal in Alaska
- U.S. citizen and resident
- Between the ages of 21 and 37
- Excellent health/physical condition
- Three years relevant experience in an occupation such as criminal investigations or aviation regulations inspections. Advanced education can reduce the length of required work experience
- Able to qualify for a top security clearance
- Willing to work odd hours, including 24-hour shifts
- Suitability test and panel interview
- Drug test and medical exam
- Psychological assessment
- Detailed background investigation
- Successful completion of a physical fitness evaluation that includes sit-ups, push-ups, weight-lifting and running
Training Requirements for Air Marshal Jobs in Alaska
Air marshal recruits must complete a 35-day program at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Artesia, NM, followed by 43 days specialized training at the Federal Air Marshal’s Training Center in Atlantic City, NJ. Emphasis is placed on such things as marksmanship, investigative techniques, recognition of criminal/terrorist behavior, aircraft specific tactics and strategies, self-defense in close quarters and physical fitness. Air marshals are known for their superb physical condition and accurate marksmanship.
Information about job openings and online application forms can be found at the TSA/air marshal careers website.
Air Marshals Serving in Airports Throughout Alaska
Alaska has four primary commercial airports:
- Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport – located four miles from downtown Anchorage, it served five million passengers in 2012 with 15 domestic and 27 international carriers. It is boasted that the three runways are never closed because of snow – it is a five-time winner of the Balchen/Post Award for large airport snow removal systems. It also has the world’s largest and busiest seaplane base. The airport has a significant economic impact with 15,577 people employed in airport-related jobs. That represents one in every 10 jobs in Anchorage.
- Fairbanks International Airport – located three miles southwest of downtown Fairbanks, it is promoted as “Interior Alaska’s Gateway to the World.” The world’s smallest airport with non-stop service to Europe has an average of 133,270 aircraft operations a year on its four runways. The newly constructed terminal meets TSA standards..
- Juneau International Airport – Situated seven miles northwest of Juneau’s main business district, it handled 86,564 aircraft operations (or 237 per day) in 2010. The airport is the only way in and out of the capital city except for the Alaska Marine Highway and cargo ships traveling on the Inside Passage. It has a seaplane landing area and one runway that accommodates daily and weekly flights to smaller Alaskan cities and Seattle.
- Ketchikan International Airport – located on Gravina Island just west of the city across the Tongass Narrows, passengers must take a seven-minute ferry ride to get to the airport from Ketchikan. The one-runway airport had 100,138 passenger boardings in 2010.