U.S. Customs and Border Protection - Air Interdiction Agent (Pilot)

Discover a challenging and rewarding career with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the sole organization responsible for securing the Nation's borders. CBP employees protect our Nation's borders from terrorism, human and drug smuggling, illegal migration, and agricultural pests while simultaneously facilitating the flow of legitimate travel and trade.

Overview

This is an exciting opportunity for you to strengthen the Department's and our partners' ability to perform their homeland security functions by doing the following:

  • Conduct air-to-air, air-to-water, and air-to-ground border interdiction of people and conveyances illegally crossing U.S. borders
  • Patrol oceans, lakes, and rivers to prevent the illegal entry of weapons of terror
  • Prohibit illegal narcotics and prevent the entry of undocumented aliens

Being an Air Interdiction Agent (AIA) makes you a valuable member of the Federal Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) profession. Typical assignments include:

  • Operating Unmanned Aircraft Systems performing law enforcement missions
  • Performing interdiction duties that include intelligence gathering, detecting, intercepting, tracking, apprehending, testifying and acting as liaison with other Federal, State, local, tribal and foreign law enforcement agencies
  • Developing strategies to track aircraft, vessels and people to accomplish an effective and successful interdiction
  • Gathering and sharing intelligence information on illegal activities or potential acts of terrorism with internal customers, the general aviation and marine communities and other law enforcement agencies
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the world's largest civilian law enforcement organization.
  • Air and Marine Operations (AMO) is a federal law enforcement organization dedicated to serving and protecting the American people. We apply advanced aeronautical and maritime capabilities and employ our unique skill sets to preserve America's security interests.
  • 74 Air and Marine Operations locations, including branches and units, National Air Security Operations Centers, and the Air and Marine Operations Center
  • Conduct air-to-air, air-to-water, and air-to-ground border interdiction of people and conveyances illegally crossing U.S. borders.
  • Patrol oceans, lakes, and rivers to prevent the illegal entry of weapons of terror
  • Prohibit illegal narcotics and prevent the entry of undocumented aliens
  • On a typical day, AMO flies 212 Enforcement hours at and beyond the border, and within our nation's interior.
  • Newly approved Special Salary Rate of 35% approved for all CBP Air Interdiction Agents effective 5/12/2019 – click here
  • Our current new-hire locations are:
    • Laredo, TX
    • Yuma, AZ
    • San Angelo, TX
    • Aguadilla, PR (CAMB)
    • Sierra Vista, AZ
    • El Paso, TX
  • 10% retention bonus are approved at the following locations: Laredo TX, Yuma AZ, San Angelo TX, Aguadilla PR (CAMB), and Sierra Vista AZ.
  • INTERDICTION: Efforts to intercept, apprehend, and disrupt threats in the land, sea, and air domains as they move toward or across the borders of the United States.
  • INVESTIGATION: AMO's specialized investigative skill sets are unique among law enforcement in the air and maritime environments.
  • DOMAIN AWARENESS: The observation of the operating domain (air, land, and maritime) and baseline information associated with the domain.
  • CONTINGENCY OPERATIONS AND NATIONAL TASKINGS
  • Terror threats and incidents
  • Continuity of operations
  • Federal disaster relief
  • National special security event
  • AMO was established January 17, 2006
Hiring Minimums

Pilot Enter on Duty minimums are 1500 flight hours; (up to 500 hours can be waived, reducing the pilot enter on duty minimums to 1000 hours)

  • A current FAA Commercial or ATP Pilot Certification with the following ratings:
    • Dual Rated: Airplane (Single-engine land or multi-engine land) with instrument rating AND Rotorcraft Helicopter with instrument rating; OR
    • Airplane Rated: Airplane (Single-engine land or multi-engine land) with instrument; OR
    • Helicopter Rated: Rotorcraft Helicopter with instrument rating
  • 250 Pilot-in-Command hours and
  • 75 Instrument hours
  • 75 Night hours
  • FAA Class I medical required for assessment dated within last 12 calendar months
  • FAA Class II medical will qualify. It must be dated within last 12 calendar months. However, at the time of your Flight Assessment you MUST present a FAA 1st Class Medical Certificate dated within the previous 12 calendar months.
  • FAA Commercial or ATP - Airplane or Helicopter rated w/instruments or both
Apply at 750 hours total time

Applicants applying at 750 flight hours are required to obtain at least 1,000 flight hours (depending on the number of hours approved for a waiver) at own expense before being able to attend the 3-part flight assessment. Applicant must still meet 250 PIC, 75 instrument and 75 night hours.

All applicants must present evidence of a current FAR 61.56 flight review (bi-annual), or successful completion of a formal military pilot evaluation (USN NATOPS Check, USAF Form 8, US Army APART, or equivalent) within the previous 24 months at the time of the flight assessment. This requirement is to be met at the applicant's own expense prior to travelling for the flight assessment.

Age Requirement

You must be referred for consideration before reaching your 40th birthday in accordance with Public Law 100-238. The age restriction doesn't apply if you are a veteran preference eligible. Documentation: a DD-214 member 4 or service 2 if prior military, or VA disability letter will be required. Active duty applicants: please submit Statement of Service.

Compensation

This is a career ladder position with a grade level progression of GS-11, GS-12 & GS-13. You will be eligible for a promotion to the next higher grade level automatically (without re-applying) once you complete 52-weeks at each grade level.

Air Interdiction Agents (AIA) special salary rates are posted on OPM's site at: https://apps.opm.gov/SpecialRates/2020/Table057101012020.aspx

Compensation acronyms used below:

  • LEAP: Law Enforcement Availability Pay (25%)
  • RI: Retention Incentive (10%) or Recruitment Incentive (25% for CAMB Only)
  • SSR: Special Salary Rate – as posted by OPM

Example annual compensation for the first three years at our new-hire locations (Laredo TX, San Angelo TX, Sierra Vista AZ, and Yuma AZ) which are currently authorized to receive a 10% retention incentive (amounts below include the SSR + LEAP + 10% RI).

  • GS-11, 1st year annual pay - $100,609
  • GS-12, 2nd year annual pay - $120,589
  • GS-13, 3rd year annual pay - $143,396

Newly appointed Air Interdiction Agents (AIAs) that Enter on Duty (EOD) in a Caribbean Air and Marine Branch (CAMB) duty location, have been authorized to receive a 25% Recruitment Incentive (RI) for up to 4 years, in-addition to Law Enforcement Availability Pay (LEAP). The below example of CAMB annual compensation includes SSR + LEAP + 25% RI:

  • GS-11, 1st year annual pay - $111,787
  • GS-12, 2nd year annual pay - $133,987
  • GS-13, 3rd year annual pay - $159,329

Relocation Expenses: Relocation expenses will be paid in accordance with the Federal Travel Regulation limits and agency policy for Caribbean Air and Marine Branch (CAMB) locations ONLY. Newly appointed AIAs that Enter on Duty (EOD) in a Caribbean Air and Marine Branch (CAMB) duty location have been authorized to receive a 25% RI (NOTE: Current federal employees serving in a permanent position are not eligible to receive a RI). 25% of your scheduled salary (base pay plus locality) for these locations will be paid at the beginning of each year, for up to a total of three years. The RI requires a three year/156-week service agreement. You must remain employed as an AIA in the eligible duty location for the period of the service agreement in order to receive and remain eligible for the RI.

Polygraph Examination: The AIA position is a polygraph-required position. You must undergo a polygraph exam with favorable results in order to continue in the pre-employment process. Please see Polygraph Examination. Polygraph Examination.

Polygraph Reciprocity: CBP may accept the results of a prior federal polygraph exam in lieu of a CBP polygraph exam. You will receive information to request reciprocity in your BI Package.

Polygraph Waiver: Certain veterans (current TS/SCI) may be eligible to obtain a polygraph waiver. You will receive information to request a waiver in your BI Package.

Additional Information

Current Federal Employees: may be required to serve a probationary period in accordance with 5 CFR 315 and may be required to accept a change to lower grade, which may reduce their current salary based on Federal pay regulation.

Firearm Proficiency: Firearm proficiency is required for Air Interdiction Agents and is part of the training provided.

Driver's License: You must possess a valid driver's license.

Probationary Period: You must serve a one-year probationary period during the first year of your initial permanent federal appointment to determine fitness for continued employment.

Mandatory Completion of Basic Training:

Air and Marine Basic Training Program (AMBTP): Successful completion of the 15 week AMBTP at the Air and Marine Operations Academy (AMOA), located in Brunswick Ga, at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC). Requirements to successfully complete the AMBTP include: a 1.5 mile run / walk within 16 minutes and 30 seconds or less, 24 push-ups within one minute or less, 220 yard sprint in 45 seconds or less, 100 meter swim (unaided), and a 15 min tread/float. Additionally new agents must successfully exit a simulated downed aircraft in the water while wearing blacked out goggles, followed by self-rescue into a life raft. Firearms proficiency must be achieved for the duty issued handgun, M-4 rifle, and 12 gauge shotgun. During the AMBTP new agents will be provided training in arrest techniques, investigative skills, survival, defensive tactics, criminal law, customs law, immigration law, law enforcement driving, and tactics specific to aviation and maritime law enforcement. Failure to successfully complete all the above training may be grounds for mandatory removal from the position.

Air and Marine Basic Spanish Training Program (AMBSTP): During the AMBTP, student agents will be given a Spanish language proficiency test. If a passing score is not achieved, student agents will immediately attend the AMBSTP following their graduation from AMBTP. AMBSTP is a 4 week law enforcement Spanish dialogue-based course taught at the AMOA. Failure to successfully complete the AMBSTP may be grounds for mandatory removal from the position. Agents who have successfully completed the CBP Officer or Border Patrol Academy’s Spanish training program will not be required to attend AMBSTP.

Air Interdiction Agents (AIAs): After successfully completing AMBTP and AMBSTP, AIAs will: receive initial vendor training from the National Air Training Center (NATC) in Oklahoma City, OK, or a NATC-approved vendor for the aircraft they will operate at their respective location; successfully complete specific local area Tactical Team Member training at their respective location. Failure to successfully complete all the above training within one year may be grounds for mandatory removal from the position.

Mobility: You are required to sign a mobility agreement and be willing to relocate as necessary.

Uniforms: This position requires you to wear an officially-approved uniform while in a duty status.

As an employee of CBP, you will be joining a workforce that is dedicated to accomplishing our mission while maintaining the trust of our Nation by strictly adhering to all government ethics standards. Your conduct will be subject to the ethics rules applicable to all Executive Branch employees, and to CBP employees specifically, as well as the criminal conflict of interest statutes. Once you enter on duty, these rules include obtaining approval for outside employment or business activity, to ensure such employment or business activity is not prohibited and does not interfere or conflict with performance of your official duties. Please review further details via the following link. (Section 4601.104 of the Supplemental Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of DHS, 5 C.F.R. § 4601.104, provides, in relevant part, as follows: (a) Prohibitions on outside employment and activities. (1) No CBP employee shall be employed by or engage in activites in support of or on behalf of a[n] customs broker; international carrier; bonded warehouse; foreign trade zone … ; cartman; law firm engaged in the practice of customs, immigration, or agriculture law; entity engaged in the enforcement of customs, immigration or agriculture law; importation or exportation department of a business; or business or other entity which engages in services related to agriculture matters where such agriculture matters relate to CBP's mission.)



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