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Old 09-29-2017, 03:38 PM   #1  
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Joined APC: May 2017
Position: Part 141 Program
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Default CBP Air Interdiction Agent (Pilot)

Do we have any current or former CBP guys on the forum? If we do I have a few questions...

How many hours do AIA's fly per month?
Best station assignments?
What is FLETC like?
Is the culture as bad as the forums make it out to be?
Would you recommend the career?
Is the future of AIA going to be more drone and less aircraft flying?

Thanks to those that reply.
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Old 09-29-2017, 06:59 PM   #2  
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Position: Airborne Law Enforcement
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I work for AMO. We just had one of our supervisors with 15yrs in leave for United. Lost a couple others last year. You will have to start in either Texas or Puerto Rico for the first 3yrs, realistically 5yrs before you can transfer.

Plan on only flying about 400-500hrs a year, if your lucky. So much of our day is filled with computer training (culture awareness, sensitivity training, blood born pathogens, sexual harassment in the work place) you get the idea. Plus we have a lot of law enforcement training that still needs to be completed.

Its a good job, but you have to want to be a law enforcement officer who happens to fly. The airframe is just how we complete our mission. If your looking for an airline career or want to fly 1000 hrs a year, this isn't the place for you.

We are using lots of MQ-9 platforms and are suppose to be moving some to central Texas, giving us three locations to launch and recover from. Are you FW,RW or both? Most of us are dual rated and you will only be allowed two airframes, so its busy each year going to recurrent for helicopters and fixed wing depending upon what airframes you are qualified.

FLETC is easy, just show up to class and study, nothing hard.

Am I grateful for this job, yes I am. Do I look on this website and search job sites daily, Yes I do. I will stay here until I retire, but I wont stay a day past my 20 year mark and will hopefully get another flying gig as soon as I retire. A lot of our pilots talk about leaving, and some will likely go, others will stick it out and stay for the retirement.

Any other specific questions, feel free to ask
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Old 10-12-2017, 12:32 PM   #3  
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Of the locations that have openings, which ones have fixed wing platforms?

- Sierra Vista
- Yuma
- Grand Forks
- Aguadilla
- Alpine
- Corpus Christi
- Laredo
- McAllen
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Old 10-16-2017, 10:46 AM   #4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grom1234 View Post
Is the culture as bad as the forums make it out to be?
Yes.

Not to mention the leadership, the mission, the aircraft, the hiring process, etc.
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Old 10-16-2017, 04:20 PM   #5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emersonbiguns View Post
Yes.

Not to mention the leadership, the mission, the aircraft, the hiring process, etc.
Do the pilots/crews not believe there is a need for airborne interdiction?
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Old 10-16-2017, 06:06 PM   #6  
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- Sierra Vista ---MQ-9 and C206
- Yuma --- helicopters
- Grand Forks ---MQ-9, had helicopters not sure if they still do
- Puerto Rico ---Dash8, helicopters
- Alpine -- not sure
- Corpus Christi ---MQ-9 and P3
- Laredo -- not sure
- McAllen C206, helicopters
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Old 10-16-2017, 09:53 PM   #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USMCFLYR View Post
Do the pilots/crews not believe there is a need for airborne interdiction?
That might be as simple as disagreeing with where the resources are placed and how they are used. Sometimes management fails to execute the mission or places unreasonable obstacles to completing it, or there aren't the resources to complete it. I'd have to imagine as drones get more commonly used (no fear of losing an asset other than the drone) it will change many of the factors at play. I think already flying an airplane low over the border is probably not the preferred way to get drugs in, most just load them up in cars and trucks and take them right past the checkpoint. Interdiction is definitely needed for fast movers, boats, etc., but as surveillance technology gets better, those will probably be utilized less and the more effective smuggling operations (tunnels, freaking catapults, drones, cars, mules, etc.) are probably maximized. If this is the case, then I think you might question how the mission is executed at the least, if it's not flexible to meet the changing environment.

I'm curious as well though to know what was meant by that.
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Old 10-17-2017, 04:26 AM   #8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesNoBrakes View Post
That might be as simple as disagreeing with where the resources are placed and how they are used. Sometimes management fails to execute the mission or places unreasonable obstacles to completing it, or there aren't the resources to complete it. I'd have to imagine as drones get more commonly used (no fear of losing an asset other than the drone) it will change many of the factors at play. I think already flying an airplane low over the border is probably not the preferred way to get drugs in, most just load them up in cars and trucks and take them right past the checkpoint. Interdiction is definitely needed for fast movers, boats, etc., but as surveillance technology gets better, those will probably be utilized less and the more effective smuggling operations (tunnels, freaking catapults, drones, cars, mules, etc.) are probably maximized. If this is the case, then I think you might question how the mission is executed at the least, if it's not flexible to meet the changing environment.

I'm curious as well though to know what was meant by that.
I can see some of that.....but much of what you said isn't disagreeing with the mission as much as how that mission in executed.

Some of this comes from the troops in the dirt which often has to be given a little sideways glance. Just because the Private doesn't understand why they have to take that building, doesn't mean that it's not important to take that building.

CBP has certainly taken a hit in the past few years. I ran into another of their former pilots on the road last week. He echoes most of what was said here in past threads.
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Old 12-08-2017, 01:38 PM   #9  
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To All:
This program is dying at an alarming rate. HQ management, who some people call "Senior Leadership", is utterly clueless when it comes to taking care of the field.
I used to be such an advocate of this program. Now, I highly encourage others to go to the airlines. This job is NOT what it used to be and has evolved into something not worth pursuing. This is a result of putting non pilot types, with chips on their shoulders, in charge professional pilots. PERIOD!!
With that said, if your are only a helo bubba with only aspirations of flying helicopters, this could be a career for you. Perfect for retired army types. If you do want to work for CBP, do whatever you can do to stay away from any NASO office. The MQ9 has taken over with the most inept management in charge.
God help us.
C550, H60, AS350, P3 and MQ9 driver.
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Old 01-06-2018, 12:20 PM   #10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCpilot2018 View Post
To All:
This program is dying at an alarming rate. HQ management, who some people call "Senior Leadership", is utterly clueless when it comes to taking care of the field.
I used to be such an advocate of this program. Now, I highly encourage others to go to the airlines. This job is NOT what it used to be and has evolved into something not worth pursuing. This is a result of putting non pilot types, with chips on their shoulders, in charge professional pilots. PERIOD!!
With that said, if your are only a helo bubba with only aspirations of flying helicopters, this could be a career for you. Perfect for retired army types. If you do want to work for CBP, do whatever you can do to stay away from any NASO office. The MQ9 has taken over with the most inept management in charge.
God help us.
C550, H60, AS350, P3 and MQ9 driver.
If you don’t mind me asking, how long have you been working for cpb? I’m a retired army pilot now working for Air Methods it I’m looking for stability. What is the first years pay really?
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