Federal Air Marshals Removed From Critical Flights Redirected To The Border Leaving A Gapping Hole In Aviation Security

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Federal Air Marshals Removed From Critical Flights Redirected To The Border Leaving A Gapping Hole In Aviation Security

FAMs serve the American people where they are the most vulnerable on planes and at airports. Especially during the holiday travel season. They do not belong as babysitters of the undocumented. ”
— Chief Counsel Cindy O'Keefe
WASHINGTON, DC , USA, November 5, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ -- The Air Marshal National Council (AMNC) announced today that the unions Chief Counsel sent a letter to TSA Administrator David Pekoske and Federal Air Marshal Director Tirrell Stevenson demanding the agency stop illegally deploying Federal Air Marshals to the border and leaving a gaping hole in our aviation security. Over the last few months there has been a surge in migrants crossing over the border that is overwhelming federal agencies in the area. However, President Biden has refused to acknowledge the situation by declaring an emergency.

Earlier this week the AMNC obtained an internal text between several high ranking supervisors in the Federal Air Marshal Service. The text message announced an “emergency meeting” where the situation on the border was discussed. The FAM managers noted that “everyone”, meaning all Air Marshals will be forced to deploy. AMNC Chief Counsel Cindy O’Keefe notes in her letter of demand.

“President Biden has not determined the illegal immigration surge at the SWB an emergency matter. Therefore, he has not enacted additional police powers of the Transportation Security Administration.”

The letter goes on to note that under clearly established law the highly skilled Federal Air Marshals job is to protect high risk flights. Removing them from their normal duties to deploy to the border to perform mainly non-law enforcement duties, is putting our national security at risk. The Federal Air Marshal service currently has the lowest flight coverage since the 9-11 attacks. The agency his experiencing an extraordinary high retirement rate due to low morale and most agents being eligible. Additionally the agency has been deploying FAMs to other areas of the country to handle the surge of migrants from Afghanistan and the Ukraine. All of this has contributed to the lowest flight covered since 9-11 and possibly an opportunity for another attack.

The Program which was established by President Kennedy in the 1960s only had 12 active FAMs on September 11, 1970 where hijackers attempted to seize 4 aircraft. Three were successfully hijacked, one was thwarted by Israeli Air Marshals. Then the program surged until the early 1980s. In 1985 TWA flight 847 was hijacked and there were no fulltime air marshals on duty. Again there was a surge in the program until September 11, 2001 where there was only 33 fulltime air marshals active. It seems history maybe repeating itself with the latest incompetence at the top of DHS and TSA.

Judicial Watch recently reported they had obtained a copy of the urgent directive from various recipients at the agency, which operates under the beleaguered Transportation Security Administration (TSA), created after 9/11 to prevent another terrorist attack. FAM is charged with protecting commercial passenger flights by deterring and countering the risk of terrorist activity and officers, specially trained aviation security specialists, are outraged that they are being sent to the southern border.

“The nation is experiencing a surge in irregular migration along the Southwest Border (SWB),” the notice to FAM officers states. “The unprecedented volume of Noncitizen Migrants (NCMs) currently apprehended mandates immediate further action to protect the life and safety of federal personnel and noncitizens in CBP [Customs and Border Protection] custody.” This appears to be the first acknowledgment, albeit leaked involuntarily, by the Biden administration that there is indeed a crisis along the nation’s famously porous southern border. “To support its mission, CBP is seeking federal employees from DHS Components and other federal agencies to be placed on reimbursable TDY assignments to assist in critical support functions,” the widely circulated mandate states, adding that “LE/FAMS has been directed by DHS to support this request.”

Gem Micheo
Federal Security Council
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