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DustoffVT 03-24-2020 07:03 AM


Originally Posted by Diverb (Post 3009127)
Not the SW Border! The agency did me a solid. I applied for an internal transfer back in November and never heard anything after I applied. December I made the decision to take a deferred retirement and went on LWOP while my paperwork got processed. Two weeks ago I was offered the slot I applied for, and with everything going on in the world, it was an easy decision. Also the location I was selected for is my dream location, no brainer for my family and I.

Bada-bing! How ya gonna handle a sensor station that actually left the ground? Welcome back bro...

DustoffVT 03-24-2020 07:11 AM


Originally Posted by ugleeual (Post 3009103)
Please pardon all the questions... I’ve reviewed the website details WRT the various duty stations a new hire would probably be assigned. What would a regular work week look like for an AIA and how much flying can be expected? Off duty, Are the agents and their families pretty tight like you’d fine in a military unit or does everyone keep to themselves? What’s the average age of an AIA and how many are assigned generally to each location? once selected for hire what is the timeline for getting sent to initial training... and how quickly do you actually get to your first unit and start work? Thanks in advance.

The basic work week is 40 hrs, but expect to work a decent amount of extra time. AIA's are on LEAP (Law Enforcement Availability Pay), so that extra time is already figured into your check. Sometimes it works out in your favor, sometimes not. OT is payed only in very limited circumstances.

Flying varies greatly but I would say a rough nationwide average is 30-40 hrs a month. SW border higher.

As agents we are pretty tight, thin blue line and all. Family wise it's more like a regular job than the military. No MWR or anything like that.

One important note for all: AMO is a medium term solution if you're furloughed. The hiring process is long, and they can't be holding mass gatherings for interview days, etc. FLETC is closed. Apply away but it is not going to be a quick process.

ugleeual 03-24-2020 07:29 AM


Originally Posted by DustoffVT (Post 3009522)
The basic work week is 40 hrs, but expect to work a decent amount of extra time. AIA's are on LEAP (Law Enforcement Availability Pay), so that extra time is already figured into your check. Sometimes it works out in your favor, sometimes not. OT is payed only in very limited circumstances.

Flying varies greatly but I would say a rough nationwide average is 30-40 hrs a month. SW border higher.

As agents we are pretty tight, thin blue line and all. Family wise it's more like a regular job than the military. No MWR or anything like that.

One important note for all: AMO is a medium term solution if you're furloughed. The hiring process is long, and they can't be holding mass gatherings for interview days, etc. FLETC is closed. Apply away but it is not going to be a quick process.

Iím senior enough not to be furloughed. AMO recruiter said I can be fast tracked... and things go quickly once you apply so make sure Iím ready before pulling the trigger based on the app package. I have a TS clearance and VA rating.

Iíve always been interested in continuing serving (Iím retired AF) and flying LEO seems like a good third career... as Iím not getting any younger (53). The timing might be good to make a career change for 3-5 years by taking a voluntary LOA and open a spot for someone younger in my company. It will be a pay cut for sure... but personal gratification might outweigh it.

Iím in good physical shape and willing to work hard. I donít have a SE rating... just 6-7K hours ME in jets and 2 years flying MQ1 Predator... just 10 hrs in ME props... will that be an issue? I donít want to be a part of an organization where my age could be a factor... so am I barking up the wrong tree and too much of an old fart ? I donít really want to fly UAVs... what are the odds if Iím willing to go anywhere? Will serving for 3-5 years be a show stopper for CBP? Eventually Iíll need to return to my airline.

emersonbiguns 03-24-2020 10:04 AM


Originally Posted by ugleeual (Post 3009543)
Iím senior enough not to be furloughed. AMO recruiter said I can be fast tracked... and things go quickly once you apply so make sure Iím ready before pulling the trigger based on the app package. I have a TS clearance and VA rating.

Iíve always been interested in continuing serving (Iím retired AF) and flying LEO seems like a good third career... as Iím not getting any younger (53). The timing might be good to make a career change for 3-5 years by taking a voluntary LOA and open a spot for someone younger in my company. It will be a pay cut for sure... but personal gratification might outweigh it.

Iím in good physical shape and willing to work hard. I donít have a SE rating... just 6-7K hours ME in jets and 2 years flying MQ1 Predator... just 10 hrs in ME props... will that be an issue? I donít want to be a part of an organization where my age could be a factor... so am I barking up the wrong tree and too much of an old fart ? I donít really want to fly UAVs... what are the odds if Iím willing to go anywhere? Will serving for 3-5 years be a show stopper for CBP? Eventually Iíll need to return to my airline.

If you're doing it for the money, knock yourself out.

If you're doing because you have some sort of desire to contribute to the cause, find something else.

ugleeual 03-24-2020 10:11 AM


Originally Posted by emersonbiguns (Post 3009826)
If you're doing it for the money, knock yourself out.

If you're doing because you have some sort of desire to contribute to the cause, find something else.

So AIAs are doing it for the money? Do most believe in the mission or is it just a job? Iím definitely not chasing the $$$... based on the pay scales on the website AIAs should be paid more.

emersonbiguns 03-24-2020 02:43 PM


Originally Posted by ugleeual (Post 3009832)
So AIAs are doing it for the money? Do most believe in the mission or is it just a job? Iím definitely not chasing the $$$... based on the pay scales on the website AIAs should be paid more.

I have no idea what everyone's motivations are and I won't pretend that I do.

My situation was, in 1997, I couldn't make a living at a regional and the job sort of fell in my lap. I enjoyed it and tried very hard for many years to contribute, change things for the better and make a difference. It became very obvious towards the end that organization wasn't really interested in anything other than being a sycophant to its BP masters. That is why the exodus occurred over the last five years or so.

ugleeual 03-24-2020 03:35 PM


Originally Posted by emersonbiguns (Post 3010166)
I have no idea what everyone's motivations are and I won't pretend that I do.

My situation was, in 1997, I couldn't make a living at a regional and the job sort of fell in my lap. I enjoyed it and tried very hard for many years to contribute, change things for the better and make a difference. It became very obvious towards the end that organization wasn't really interested in anything other than being a sycophant to its BP masters. That is why the exodus occurred over the last five years or so.

thanks for the honest perspective

DustoffVT 03-24-2020 05:10 PM


Originally Posted by ugleeual (Post 3009543)
Iím senior enough not to be furloughed. AMO recruiter said I can be fast tracked... and things go quickly once you apply so make sure Iím ready before pulling the trigger based on the app package. I have a TS clearance and VA rating.

Iíve always been interested in continuing serving (Iím retired AF) and flying LEO seems like a good third career... as Iím not getting any younger (53). The timing might be good to make a career change for 3-5 years by taking a voluntary LOA and open a spot for someone younger in my company. It will be a pay cut for sure... but personal gratification might outweigh it.

Iím in good physical shape and willing to work hard. I donít have a SE rating... just 6-7K hours ME in jets and 2 years flying MQ1 Predator... just 10 hrs in ME props... will that be an issue? I donít want to be a part of an organization where my age could be a factor... so am I barking up the wrong tree and too much of an old fart ? I donít really want to fly UAVs... what are the odds if Iím willing to go anywhere? Will serving for 3-5 years be a show stopper for CBP? Eventually Iíll need to return to my airline.


BLUF: I don't think it's a good idea to leave a legacy for AMO. Even in these crazy times.

As always, full disclosure: I'm in one of the "good" branches, off the SW border, with a varied mission set, and near my family. Something of a unicorn in AMO but it can be done. That said, it's much harder now.

AIA's aren't in it for the money. Those that were qualified to leave to the big 6 mostly have. All are glad they did.

I understand wanting to try something more rewarding (debatable), but I think the long term financial hit would just be too big. I would say the average mid career AIA right now is making 140-160 with the SSR. If you only plan on a few years here you won't see that. Add in the loss of direct contribution to to 401K, it's even worse. As a retiree, you won't be able to buy back any of your military time or have it credited for leave purposes, etc. You'll be stuck at minimum leave accrual (4 hours per pay period). Under the 6c law enforcement retirement, we can get out at 20 years. The flip side to that is we have 1.7 percent taken out towards the pension. A normal federal employee contributes 1%. If you leave before 20 - that .7% per year is forfeit. Over 5 years that's a lot of your compensation you gave the govt.

I have been a part of 3 airlines, military units, and AMO in my flying career. AMO has it's dysfunctions for sure but so does everywhere. The people in the trenches are top notch, as is some management. Not all by any means.

I would take a recruiters estimate of fast track with a grain of salt, especially now. Normally the big hang up is the background check and I don't see how that could possibly be done in a timely matter today. They might bring you on, but stuck as GS-11 for a long time. You do not start LEAP until you finish the academy and get your gun - right now FLETC is closed. A TS clearance will not get you out of the poly, has to be a full SCI. If you have that - there are jobs out there beyond AMO's scope for sure.

Awesome that you're thinking of the junior dudes. You'll have to decide if it's worth the financial loss and uprooting your family to somewhere west of the Pecos.

Feel free to PM.

headgs 03-25-2020 10:38 PM

Hey guys, been lurking but first real post. I got the AIA tentative acceptance (contingent on background stuff, etc) email yesterday. I've got 2500TT with a King Air 350 single pilot PIC type, about 300hrs PIC, 650hrs total in it.

Also about 300PIC in the PC12, and 200 SIC in the G-IV. I just got laid off from my pt 135 G-IV job. I'm 25 years old, year degree, ready to move basically anywhere.

Would AMO place me in the King Air or Pilatus due to my experience on type or would that be irrelevant? Goal is definitely majors eventually, but with regionals stopping hiring this seems like a super interesting opportunity.

Thanks in advance, much appreciated.

kaputt 03-26-2020 09:50 AM


Originally Posted by headgs (Post 3012136)
Hey guys, been lurking but first real post. I got the AIA tentative acceptance (contingent on background stuff, etc) email yesterday. I've got 2500TT with a King Air 350 single pilot PIC type, about 300hrs PIC, 650hrs total in it.

Also about 300PIC in the PC12, and 200 SIC in the G-IV. I just got laid off from my pt 135 G-IV job. I'm 25 years old, year degree, ready to move basically anywhere.

Would AMO place me in the King Air or Pilatus due to my experience on type or would that be irrelevant? Goal is definitely majors eventually, but with regionals stopping hiring this seems like a super interesting opportunity.

Thanks in advance, much appreciated.

No, as fixed wing guy youíll head to the border and fly either a Cessna 206/210 or a Predator drone. I think in San Angelo you can occasionally fly a PC-12, but youíre main job will be the Pred.

Youíll also have to attend FLETC and become a badge and gun carrying Federal Agent. Consider that when applying as itís not just a flying job.

Those who actually work in the agency can give you better info. Iím just someone who is still trying to build time to be competitive for this career path. What I said is mostly what Iíve gathered from folks in this thread and talking with recruiters.


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