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Federal Air Marshals- Consumate Professionals

March 18, 2015
 

Dear Editor:

This is in response to the incredibly biased and ill‐informed
writing of Adam Minter in his diatribe "America’s Sky Police
Should Be Asked to Stand Down” and on behalf of the Federal Air
Marshals represented by the Federal Law Enforcement Officers
Association (FLEOA).

The men and women who work day in and day out as Federal Air
Marshals (FAMs) do so at an incredible and arduous pace. FAA
governs flight crews and limits the hours of flight time; FAMs are
not governed by these rules and have no "cut off” time.

FAMs dedicate their lives to the service of their country. There
are no "statistics” to quantify their successfulness – obviously in
there are no attempted take‐overs of American aircraft FAMs
have done their job.

FAMs are on the plane to do one thing, insure that another 9/11
does not occur. As we get farther and farther away from that
tragic date, some forget the true threat that existed and is still
prevalent today. Islamic terrorists want to take over American
aircraft and wreak havoc to America, its citizens and its economy.
This isn’t a half‐baked notion; it is ever present in their rhetoric.
This is their number one goal.

To somehow insist that armed pilots are the answer is invalid.
Armed pilots receive approximately 8 hours of firearms training
and are restricted to remain inside the flight deck during a
disturbance. The only way they can assist is if the flight deck door
is breached – period.

Ironically, in the two days since this "article” was published, we
have had a man who reportedly yelled "Jihad” rush the flight
deck of a United Airlines plane with the goal of breaching the
flight deck door.

And today, a former American Airlines mechanic was arrested for
attempting to join ISIS. When his hard drive was checked, this
former employee had sensitive interior photos of aircraft that
obviously were for Islamic terrorists.
 
What is even more troubling is that this employee never had to go through a
screening process and utilized a SIDA (Secured Identification Display Area) Badge to
bypass security. To believe that there are no more employees with this access and
intent is just not viable. This translates to those with evil intentions the opportunity
to hide IED and/or weapons for those who later board.

Federal Air Marshals are deployed on American carrier flights in strategic locations
to protect that aircraft and the passengers within. If a major altercation and/or
takeover of the aircraft are attempted, the Air Marshals on board will eliminate the
threat. Air Marshals will protect the integrity of the aviation system and protect the
lives of your loved ones.

Respectfully,

Frank Terreri
FLEOA Federal Air Marshal Agency President