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View Full Version : Air Marshal Attacked on Plane



BWayne
12-31-2003, 07:19 AM
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Vig Creed
12-31-2003, 07:50 AM
Here is the story:

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (AP) -- A woman allegedly tried to choke a federal air marshal after she became disruptive on a flight from Pittsburgh to Minneapolis, authorities said.

The air marshal approached the woman, who was allegedly intoxicated, vocal and obnoxious aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 1057 on Tuesday, Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman Jennifer Marty said.

After the woman continued to be disruptive, she tried to choke the marshal in a later exchange, Marty said. She also kicked the marshal in the groin and bit a law enforcement officer after she was escorted off the plane, Marty said.

The flight landed at 8:30 p.m. at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport with the woman in handcuffs. She was led off the plane by police and placed in federal custody.

The extent of the marshal's injuries was unknown.

Metropolitan Airports Commission spokesman Patrick Hogan said he wasn't sure if the woman was served alcohol on the plane.

The woman could face federal charges of assault or interfering with a flight crew, he said.

Vig Creed
12-31-2003, 08:01 AM
This incident is interesting from a police point of view.

These questions come to mind:

(1) Why did the FAM get involved in the first place? By doing so he gave away his identity and left himself open to attack and being disarmed by hi-jackers, especially if the "drunk" woman had been part of the hi-jack plan.

(2) Are FAM's required to get involved in minor disturbances? Or did the FAM do it in violation of SOP?

(3) This situation highlights a flaw in the system, sure to be noticed by the terrorists. Will the flaw be corrected?

(4) Obviously the best way to get a gun aboard is to let the FAM carry it on, then create a fake disturbance and take it away from him/her. That being the case, I personally wouldn't want FAM's getting involved in minor disturbances that might be part of the BG's plans.

creed

michael
12-31-2003, 08:04 AM
I'm with you, Vig. These are questions I would like to know also. Of course we will never know if there were other FAM's on board who did not get involved. I think they almost never travel alone.

Believeraz
12-31-2003, 09:33 AM
I'm with you, Vig. These are questions I would like to know also. Of course we will never know if there were other FAM's on board who did not get involved. I think they almost never travel alone.

If I may make a suggestion, let's not get into speculation or monday morning quarterbacking here. (Not specifically directed at Vig or Michael.) OPSEC for these gentlemen and ladies is paramount, and some things don't need to be discussed in open forums.

If the FAM got involved, he did so because he felt it was the proper thing to do within his authority, training and experience. Rather than what-if it to death, let it be what it is.

Ragsbo
12-31-2003, 04:19 PM
This just go to show you that you meet up with crazy,dangerous and unpredictable people anywhere and everywhere you go. Don't let your guard down.

JodyH
12-31-2003, 05:14 PM
OPSEC for these gentlemen and ladies is paramount, and some things don't need to be discussed in open forums.
Give me a break..........
Unless the people who are discussing this topic on an open forum are FAM's or have inside knowledge of the FAM program, then we are only discussing what is already public knowledge. And if they are FAM's or have inside info, then they are probably breaking several laws and regulations by discussing these issues.
You really think that you or I, or anyone else on this forum who is willing to speculate on this subject will come up with something that terrorists can't or haven't already thought of?
Hell it's been on every news channel out there about how if there is one FAM, there is usually two. Remember the flight into JFK where the two FAM's held the whole plane at gunpoint?
I'd bet you could get a whole butt-load of information on the FAM program with a Google search and some cross referencing, along with a good eye for gathering info.
And if I can do it, then you can damn well be sure the Terrs. can and have done it.
The FAM in this particular incident screwed up and gave himself away for no gain. This could have been the perfect "mouse trap" to snag him and his firearm. The program isn't designed to put a street cop in the air, it's to prevent hi-jacking, to be a last line of defense before an F-16 shoves a Sidewinder up the planes ass.

MTS
12-31-2003, 06:57 PM
The FAM in this particular incident screwed up and gave himself away for no gain. This could have been the perfect "mouse trap" to snag him and his firearm. The program isn't designed to put a street cop in the air, it's to prevent hi-jacking, to be a last line of defense before an F-16 shoves a Sidewinder up the planes ass.

The problem is the selection process. Unless its changed the bare bones criteria to be hired (when they started re-hiring after 9/11) was to be between the ages of 21-37 and have a four year degree, in anything.

So you can have a young person with few life experiances, some education, a little (rushed) training, on an airplane with a gun.:(

Why does that not fill me with "warm and fuzzies".

JodyH
12-31-2003, 08:23 PM
The selection process went down the crapper after 9/11.
A deputy from the local SO is now a FAM. This guy was one of the goofiest LCD's (lowest common denominators) I've ever known.
...
I personally think we'd be better off with a much smaller number of much better trained and scheduled FAM's. The current situation is FUBAR.
...
Another idea is to have a group of flight attendants who are trained similarly to corrections officers ie: emphasis on HTH and less than lethal, along with restraint and control techniques. They could be the ones to handle out of control drunks, and belligerent passengers.

DaveJames
01-01-2004, 06:57 AM
As in ever thing else, when the crunch comes and the need outstrips the pool of qualified, we hire from the gene pool like every one else, and it takes awile to weed out the knot heads, my department and 3 of the local ones lost some very good cops that I know, to the FAM's,and a couple I wouldn't go into a bldg with but they'll be back begging for a job.

As to the post that they are there for hi-jacking only that is wrong, they are there to respond to any thing on the plane that may cause or has become a problem, and if only 1 was involved then stop and think, where was the other?.

And for those who don't know, it was just this past month that the FAM's have won their case against the airlines, and they no longer have to board before evryone else, or annoc' them selfs to the flight crew.

Anthony
01-01-2004, 09:22 AM
Interesting thread. Interesting points. I find myself agreeing with Vig & JodyH. Jody said it all. Everything & anything, has already been thought of by terrs'.
How about this one for example: - South Armagh 1980. The terrs attached a hard-core porn magazine to a bomb, and left it by the road side, expecting a soldier to be interested and pick it up. Training had indoctrinated us to NEVER touch anything. We didn't, but an old boy out walking one morning did. He died in the blast.

Personally I think a FAM should remain anonimous untill he/she really HAS to react to something too serious for the flightcrew to be able to handle.

Regards,
Anthony.

Steve Camp
01-01-2004, 09:23 AM
My guess is that the terrorists will eventually take out our airliners with SAMs.

And I think your guess is a good one. However, if they shoot down an airliner, while in itself a terrorist act, they are not able to use that airliner as a guided missile and blow up another building / nuclear reactor / dam etc.

Maybe the terrs believe it is too difficult with the current state of affairs to try for another 9/11; that is, the "heightened" state of security makes it too risky for them. I dunno.

Of course, blast a few airliners, and people will STOP flying altogether, not unlike the drop in airline passenger service post 9/11... and that will have a large economic impact... but it does not have the same impact to the public psyche as watching some monstrous building(s) topple over, or does it?

Anthony
01-01-2004, 10:13 AM
Steve2267,
If they used a SAM to drop a plane over a crowded city, the deaths on the ground from the plane falling could well be superiar to deaths on the plane. A 747 falling on Manhatten for example ?
Commercial planes need anti-SAM equipment. I read a short while ago that British Airways are planning to equip their planes with such.

Regards,
Anthony.

safestop
01-01-2004, 10:36 AM
The problem is the selection process. Unless its changed the bare bones criteria to be hired (when they started re-hiring after 9/11) was to be between the ages of 21-37 and have a four year degree, in anything.

So you can have a young person with few life experiances, some education, a little (rushed) training, on an airplane with a gun.:(

Why does that not fill me with "warm and fuzzies".

Got to agree with Mark, change the process. or the program is not much. Just because they have a gun on the hip, does not make them smart enough to use it correctly, and a 4 year degree only means they had enough free time to sit in a classroom somewhere.
There are folks out there that can and are willing to do this job, those are the folks that need to be FAM's.
Fuzzy

Rusty Phillips
01-02-2004, 06:02 AM
have you ever actually thought about what it would be like to spend your entire work day / week /career on an airplane or in an airport

trying not to get your cover blown?

trying to stay alert to any potential threats?

unable to nap or read or do any of the things that you or I do on airplanes?

at least the stewardesses get to walk around the cabin, but to have to sit in your seat that long?

god forbid anything should happen on the flight and then everything you do gets analyzed on www.warriortalk.com

(lol)

MTS
01-02-2004, 06:37 AM
I've thought this over for a few days, expecially the comments about this incident could have been a ruse to "draw out" any FAM's on board.

While that might be true sometimes you just have to go ahead and deal with the here and now while staying alert to other threats.

Anthony
01-02-2004, 07:50 AM
have you ever actually thought about what it would be like to spend your entire work day / week /career on an airplane or in an airport

trying not to get your cover blown?

trying to stay alert to any potential threats?

unable to nap or read or do any of the things that you or I do on airplanes?

at least the stewardesses get to walk around the cabin, but to have to sit in your seat that long?

god forbid anything should happen on the flight and then everything you do gets analyzed on www.warriortalk.com

(lol)

Rusty Phillips,
With all due respect, what you have written, - whilst true, - GOES WITH THE JOB !
If a FAM can't hack it, - so choose another career !
Being analyzed on WT Forums is the least of their problems.
FAMs, like aircrew, get good resting/touring on arrival abroad. The pay is not bad at all.
Let's analise the situation, and make a comparison or two.
SFs, on a Covert OP. Could be Northern Ireland, Iraq, Afganistan - wherever.
2/3/4 man team. Hidden in a bush/hedge. 5/6/7 days, before being relieved. Rain/snow/heat etc. You cannot leave the hedge. You cannot cook, - nor even heat water for a 'brew' ! Cold rations. You pee in plastic containers. You s**t onto 'clingfilm', roll it up, and store it in plastic bags. If this is not done, the local dogs will be sniffing out your location, - atracted by the smell !
You are cold, wet, bored, tired, in extreme risk !
And your job doesn't even involve a kill ! ( Normally.)
Just lie there and photo the enemy. Photo the visiters. Collect info ! Orders, - shoot only to defend your life ! And if you have to shoot, you REALLY HAVE TO SHOOT ! You have f**ked up BIG !

For many proffesionals, a job as a FAM would be great. Warm, dry, clean, well fed, etc, - just stay alert for upto 12 hours on a flight once every few days !

Even comparing to more simple types of jobs. - Every day. Supermarket cashier for example. Low paid, boring, rude customers, abusive boss etc. Come on ? Give me a break !

Regards,
Anthony.

DaveJames
01-02-2004, 08:13 AM
Anthony, sounds like time in the bush, some things same,same every where,

But for the FAM's they are not only 12 on and 8 off, sometimes its off 30 min's to an hour and back,and your not working with the same guys or gals as before,

Anthony
01-02-2004, 08:46 AM
Anthony, sounds like time in the bush, some things same,same every where,

But for the FAM's they are not only 12 on and 8 off, sometimes its off 30 min's to an hour and back,and your not working with the same guys or gals as before,

Dave, & anyone else on the Forum.
If I am wrong about the scedules of FAMs then I sincerely apologise. My comments were based on a FAM who I met, and struck up a small freindship with. He certainly got some good time off to rest between flights. This was WAY before 9/11, and maybe today they have far more exhaustive scedules. If so, then it's about time that something was done about this.
These day's, a FAM should be - AT LEAST as rested between flights as the pilot/co-pilot. The planes these days fly themselves.

Regards,
Anthony.

Scout
01-02-2004, 01:34 PM
Anthony,

You bring up great points. What most folks don't realize is the FAM schedule is a difficult one, but not as tough as SF recon units. However, you must also keep in mind the pool of candidates from which the "average" FAM is drawn. Being cramped in an aluminum tube/the montonomy of an airport is a tough job, until you have to eat from and crap in a bag while hunted by patrols and bitten by bugs.

A similar analogy would be a cop on patrol in Baltimore/Chicago/South Central LA vs. out in say some small town in Texas (sheesh, couldn't think of a safe city :D).

I do not mean to diminish the value of their jobs, but am pointing out there is always gonna be a tougher/nastier job out there.

I travel frequently and you couldn't pay me enough to hang around airports/planes. But that's just me.

JodyH
01-02-2004, 04:34 PM
No sympathy for the FAM's working conditions.
As has been stated before me, if you don't like the job....... quit.