The cities of New Orleans and Baton Rouge attract a large number of domestic and international tourists each year with major arts and cultural festivals. Louisiana’s booming vacation and leisure industry comes with a heightened risk to national security and public safety.
As the location of a number of major airports in need of safeguarding, the Federal Air Marshal Service has a strong presence in Louisiana:
- Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, which also holds the record for being the second lowest airport in the world at only 4.5 feet above sea level, served 8,600,989 passengers in 2012.
- Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport is a public use airport that services regional connecting flights for several major airlines.
- Alexandria International Airport is a primary commercial service airport that had 179,129 passengers in 2010.
Federal Air Marshal Service Employment Requirements
Individuals interested in air marshal jobs in Louisiana must meet the following minimum requirements:
- Candidates must be between the ages of 21 and 36
- Have prior federal civilian law enforcement experience
Applicants must also possess either bachelor’s degree in any field from an accredited university or 3 years of general experience with demonstrable progression in communication skills, planning and organization, as well as problem solving. Candidates may also possess a combination of both post-secondary education and experience.
Federal air marshal training involves an intensive 16-week program focused on both basic law enforcement skills, as well as the advanced training necessary for Federal Air Marshal Service.
Before being accepted for training, candidates will have to undergo an extensive pre-screening process that will include the following:
- Top security clearance and background check
- Psychological analysis
- Physical examination with drug and alcohol screening
- Panel Interview
- FAMS Assessment Battery test
Louisiana Federal Air Marshals Serve in Disaster Relief Efforts
While federal air marshals focus primarily on issues of national security and counterterrorism measures, their training in matters of public safety makes them uniquely suited to help out in efforts related to disaster response.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, federal air marshals took control of the overall security of Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport in an attempt to provide a heightened sense of safety for the thousands of travelers stranded in the wake of the disaster. They also set out to provide relief to the already understaffed local law enforcement tasked with patrolling the airport.
Federal air marshals worked tirelessly to secure the perimeters of the airport and control tower, as well as to help make passenger jet ways operational. They also confiscated some 70 firearms in the wake of the deteriorating situation and returned order to what had become a lawless situation.
The fast action and special knowledge of federal air marshals averted a major crisis in the wake of the horror of Hurricane Katrina.