Federal air marshals in Nevada are tasked with protecting the millions of passengers who pass through Nevada’s airports on a daily basis.
- McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas ranked 24th worldwide in 2012 for passenger traffic, serving more than forty million passengers. It was also the eight busiest airports in the world as measured by aircraft movement. McCarran hosted more than 500,000 takeoffs and landings in 2012.
- Reno-Tahoe International Airport, Nevada’s second busiest airport is located in Reno and is the home of the Nevada National Guard. Reno-Tahoe International Airport serves more than two million passengers annually.
- North Las Vegas Airport, situated three miles from downtown Las Vegas, is the primary airport in the area for scenic tours. In 2010, North Las Vegas Airport served nearly 65,000 commercial passengers.
- Boulder City Municipal Airport, located in Boulder City, Nevada serves upwards of 150,000 passengers per year.
- Elko Regional Airport is a municipal airport in Elko County, Nevada serves over 20,000 commercial airline passengers and nearly 50,000 charter flight passengers on an annual basis.
The Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS) is the law enforcement division of the TSA (Transportation Security Administration). As law enforcement officials, federal air marshals in Nevada cooperate with airport authorities and local law enforcement agencies to help ensure security at these busy airports.
Federal air marshals in Nevada may serve in one of Nevada’s airports or may be assigned to the local TSA field office located in Las Vegas.
Requirements for Air Marshal Jobs in Nevada
Applicants for federal air marshal positions in Nevada must meet certain standards.
- Applicants must be at least 21 years of age.
- No individual over the age of 37 will be appointed as an air marshal unless he or she has previously served as a federal law enforcement agent and would be able to complete twenty years of service in federal law enforcement by age 57.
In addition, applicants for Nevada air marshal positions must meet work experience and educational requirements.
- Three years working for the federal government. At least one year must be in a position which is equal to the F Band (or GS-4 grade level), or in an entry-level non-federal governmental position.
- A bachelor’s degree or higher in any subject from an accredited college or university.
- A combination of experience and education.
In evaluating an applicant’s education and work experience, evidence of skill in problem solving, critical analysis, and written and oral communication is paramount.
Applicants who are chosen to serve as air marshals must complete a total of fourteen weeks of specialized training at dedicated federal training centers. The first seven weeks of training addresses investigation techniques, behavioral recognition, specialized defensive and offensive tactics, and firearms proficiency. Upon completion of this first course, candidates move on to advanced training, which includes specific attention to developing marksmanship skills. Handgun accuracy rating requirements for air marshals are very high.
Federal Air Marshals in Nevada Cooperate with Local Law Enforcement
A federal air marshal is, above all, a law enforcement agent with the mission of protecting airlines, airports, and airline passengers and crew. To accomplish this, air marshals must cooperate with other law enforcement agencies in the local area.
In Nevada, air marshals protect our airways in collaboration with such agencies as:
- The Southern Nevada Joint Terrorism Task Force
- The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department
- Nevada Emergency Operations and Notification Network
- Nevada’s Department of Emergency Management located in Nevada’s capital, Carson City
The local headquarters of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which encompasses the TSA and the Federal Air Marshal Service, is located just outside Nevada’s McCarran Airport in Las Vegas.