Air marshals often work incognito to protect the passengers of Ohio’s airspace on a daily basis, including those flying from these major airports:
- Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport, which sees nearly 12 million passengers transiting its security checkpoints annually
- Akron-Canton Regional Airport, one of the fastest growing facilities in the Midwest with over six million passengers last year
- Port Columbus International Airport, with more than six million yearly passengers and serving as the landing site for 15 airlines
- Dayton International Airport with over 2.6 million passengers last year flying on seven airlines based at the airport
- Toledo Express Airport, with recent annual passenger totals reaching nearly 143,000
Ohio’s air marshals are ready to respond to everything from unruly passengers to terrorist hijacking situations.
Requirements for Becoming a Federal Air Marshal
Education is an important consideration when preparing to become an air marshal. Having a bachelor’s degree will meet a major qualification requirement for air marshal jobs while also grooming the applicant for promotion. Relevant subject majors include:
- Criminal Justice
- Law Enforcement
In lieu of education, applicants may substitute at least three years of experience working in an environment that requires effective problem solving, planning, and communication. A combination of both education and work experience is also acceptable.
Other minimum requirements for employment include:
- US citizenship
- Being between the ages of 21-36, with federal officers receiving some leeway on this
- Passing an Air Marshal Assessment Battery Test
- Being approved for top secret security clearance through a background check
- Making it through a panel interview
- Passing a psychological and medical exam
The training requirements to become an air marshal include meeting strict marksmanship standards and completing 78 days of intensive instruction spread over two courses:
- 35-day Basic Training at the Federal Law Enforcement Center in Artesia, New Mexico
- 43-day Advanced Training at the Federal Air Marshal Service Training Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey
Importance of Joint Agency Air Marshal Operations in Ohio
In the post-9/11 world, cooperation between governmental agencies is encouraged. Air marshal jobs in Ohio involve working in tandem with other law enforcement and security agencies at the local, state and federal levels. The major airports in Ohio allocate money for just this purpose, supporting joint training exercises between air marshals and other specialized security units. The Department of Homeland Security through the Transportation Security Administration, which manages the federal air marshal program, also supports these endeavors.
Air marshals can expect to train in partnerships such as these:
- Ohio’s four Joint Terrorism Task Forces
- Ohio’s four Fusion Centers:
- Ohio Strategic Analysis and Information Center
- Northeast Ohio Regional Fusion Center
- Cincinnati/Hamilton County Regional Terrorism Early Warning Group
- The Central Ohio Terrorism Early Warning Group
Since the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Ohio has successfully prosecuted 11 suspects on terrorism charges.