Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Federal Air Marshal Service Celebrates 50 Years!

Federal Air Marshals Celebrating 50 Years Logo - 1962-2012
Last week, the Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS) celebrated 50 years of service. It was 1961 when then President John F. Kennedy signed an amendment to the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 to enhance the penalty for interfering with airline crew members. On March 2, 1962, 18 out of 300 FAA safety inspectors graduated and were deputized to help enforce this Act and prevent hijackings. Be sure to check out the timeline reflecting 50 years of history about the FAMS. Congratulations to the FAMS and thank you for continuing to help keep our skies safe.

Federal Air Marshals Timeline Screenshot
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17 comments:

RB said...

FAM's were doing ok up till the point of becoming part of TSA, the most distrusted agency in all of the United States government.

Anonymous said...

Congrats

Adrian said...

"In fact, more air marshals have been arrested than the number of people arrested by air marshals."

http://duncan.house.gov/2009/06/22062009.shtml

Anonymous said...

Just as bloated as the TSA, but with guns and lower standards than 12 years ago.

Chris Boyce said...

I must say that the track record of their organization and its people is quite impressive:

1. Shooting & killing an unarmed mentally ill person IN THE BACK while the victim was in a jetway and not even on a plane;

2. Arresting drunks on airplanes;

3. Harassing citizens at non-aviation transportation hubs;

4. Here's just one opinion from a Member of Congress, your real customer:

"Representative [John] Duncan stated the following regarding FAMS as “the most needless, useless agency in the entire Federal Government is the Air Marshal Service. USA Today once reported that more air marshals had been arrested than were arrests by air marshals. Talk about a soft, easy job. All these people do is ride back and forth on airplanes, back and forth, back and forth, mostly in first class. “"

5. An example: "TSA Air Marshall Arrested in Mugging of Boston Occupier" (http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/01/air-marshal-arrested-occupy/)

This most recent arrest is exactly why I cannot trust the judgment of an armed federal agent from a culture of harassment and questionable judgment on an airplane.

Pistole must be proud.

[Screen capture made.]

Anonymous said...

Yes, OK, BOB. Happy Anniversary. Now, what about breast pumps?

Anonymous said...

Once a good idea - like the cop on the beat. Now smothered in scandal under TSA management.

http://www.propublica.org/article/federal-air-marshals-and-the-law

Anonymous said...

Congratulations for 50 years of sitting around doing absolutely nothing and getting paid. Now when can we expand this program! I demand that people be paid nothing to sit on buses and trains as well!

Anonymous said...

Actually, despite all the issues with the Federal Air Marshal Service, I'd much rather we cut back on TSA staffing and expenses and expanded on Air Marshals. An actual armed person on more flights sounds like a MUCH better investment towards flight safety than people violating our rights and privacy, pretending to make a difference on the ground.
We really need neither after cockpit doors were reinforced, but Air Marshals come closer to actually being helpful.

Phil said...

Bob, I know all this spinning makes you a little dizzy, but were you going to mention the absolutely lack of professionalism or "bigotry, sexism, and suicide" that pervades the FAM corps?

http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/air-marshals-wild-tales-sexism-suicide-bigotry/story?id=15532865#.T1keQzHy9V8

Anonymous said...

Now only if the US Government would expand the Federal Air Marshal program so four armed air marshals are placed on every plane traveling through US airspace. Two could sit in first class and the other two in coach so anyone stupid enough to hijack a plane would get taken down to the ground and handcuffed instead c/o Uncle Sam. That would make me feel safer on a plane. This could be paid for with a $75 per flight ($150 for round trips) assessment on every plane ticket sold. Of course this assessment would also cover all TSA expenses so general tax dollars would not have to be used for airplane security. Last I checked a first class round-trip ticket cross-country was about $2200 so another $150 added to that would be peanuts and safety would be much better.

Anonymous said...

50 years of not catching ANY terrorists or preventing ANY attacks. Congratulations and best wishes for another 50 years of being a worthless expense to the taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

@Chris Boyce

"1. Shooting & killing an unarmed mentally ill person IN THE BACK while the victim was in a jetway and not even on a plane;"

Mr Alpizar was shot in the chest and arms as he advanced towards the FAM's. He stated he had a bomb and was reaching into the backback strapped to his chest. Please get your facts straight.

Anonymous said...

"Now only if the US Government would expand the Federal Air Marshal program so four armed air marshals are placed on every plane traveling through US airspace."

So your plan is to replace pointless security theater with a pointless armed presence on aircraft?

A bad solution for a non-problem; terrorists on aircraft are extremely rare and will not be able to assume control of an aircraft in the same or similar manner to the 9/11 hijackers.

Keep explosives off airplanes - a comparatively easy thing to do - and you've accomplished your security goal of securing civil aviation.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Mr Alpizar was shot in the chest and arms as he advanced towards the FAM's. He stated he had a bomb and was reaching into the backback strapped to his chest. Please get your facts straight.

According to wikipedia:

"As the plane finished boarding and all 114 passengers were seated, Alpizar was heard having an argument with his wife. He stood up from his seat saying, "I have to get off the plane", and ran for the door, which was still open."

Trying to run OFF the plane? Doesn't sound like someone who wants to blow up the plane to me. if he wanted to blow it up, he would have done so mid-flight, not waited until they landed.

"He was followed by an undercover air marshal. According to James E. Bauer, two Air Marshals confronted Alpizar near the cockpit... Ignoring requests to stop, Alpizar continued to exit the plane..."
"After being ordered to the ground, Alpizar allegedly did not comply, instead reaching for the bag. The two Air Marshals pulled out their .357 SIG Sauer pistols and opened fire, killing Alpizar. "

"Several passengers on the flight have contradicted the government's claim, saying they never heard Alpizar say anything about a bomb."

"No bombs or explosives were found."

The official story was full of holes. One of the FAMS say "Alpizar repeatedly stated that he had a bomb and would detonate it...in Spanish", while "The first officer ...said that English was spoken."

I mean, if they can't even agree on the language....

Thomas Brean said...

Amazing to think no one had thought of having air marshals before. There are few places where you're less safe than in the air if something goes wrong. In any case, happy 50th!!

Bamboo Foot Patch said...

I'd much rather we cut back on TSA staffing and expenses and expanded on Air Marshals. An actual armed person on more flights sounds like a MUCH better investment towards flight safety than people violating our rights and privacy