U.S. Orders Armed Officers on Some Jets


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Jeff White
December 29, 2003, 10:56 AM
We have to drag our feet about arming pilots. And it would be too dangerous to allow American peace officers and CCW holders to fly armed, but we are going to require carriers to put armed foreign officers on planes flying over the US? Who's going to vet these guys to see if they are ok? The insanity that is the Department of Homeland Security just keeps getting worse...
Jeff


http://www.yahoo.com/s/142281
U.S. Orders Armed Officers on Some Jets
AP

By PETE YOST, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - Amid a heightened state of alert for terrorists, the U.S. government said Monday it will require international air carriers in certain cases to place armed law enforcement officers on flights over the United States.

The Homeland Security Department said the directive, which is effective immediately, will further enhance security on commercial and cargo aircraft flying to, from and over the United States.

"We are asking international air carriers to take this protective action as part of our ongoing effort to make air travel safe for Americans and visitors alike," Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said in a statement.

"I have said that we will take specific steps to increase security whenever necessary, and with this action we are doing just that," he added.

Homeland Security spokesman Dennis Murphy said the move will apply to specific flights "based on specific information" whenever it surfaces.

"We will then notify the carrier that based on information we received, we require a law enforcement officer to be on the plane," Murphy said. The directive contemplates that armed officers from the country of the airline's ownership would be aboard.

A senior intelligence official said earlier this month that analysts were particularly concerned about the threat of Sept. 11-style attacks, in which terrorists would use hijacked airliners as weapons.

The directive comes in the form of three emergency amendments to air security regulations involving cargo planes, passenger planes and airliners passing over U.S. airspace.

There are thousands of international commercial and cargo flights daily involving U.S. airspace and hundreds of international carriers.

Britain said Sunday it tightened security for trans-Atlantic flights and suggested it might put armed sky marshals on some planes. The United States already places armed security officers on certain flights.

"The last few days have seen the United States increase their general threat and security levels, and what we are proposing is a proportionate and appropriate level of response at a time when the threat to both our countries and around the world remains real and serious," Britain's top law enforcement official, David Blunkett, said.

The Bush administration raised the terrorism alert level to orange, or high, on Dec. 21 and Air France canceled six flights between Paris and Los Angeles on Wednesday and Thursday, following security discussions between U.S. and French officials.

"What we are saying here is we expect this level of cooperation from all nations," Murphy told The Associated Press. "This step is in case we might not get that same level of cooperation that we've received thus far from our closest allies. We anticipate the same level of cooperation from all air carriers that fly to and out of the U.S."

In a news release, the Homeland Security Department said it will continue to conduct checks on passengers and crew of flights entering and leaving U.S. airspace, and will analyze threat information related to those flights.

When intelligence information warrants, it said, the government will direct additional security requirements for specific flights, including protection by law enforcement officers where warranted, it said.

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obiwan1
December 29, 2003, 02:42 PM
This should be interesting. Some of those countries have very good counter terror units. Consider SAS, GSG9, etc. It's about time that we got some help.

Jeff White
December 29, 2003, 02:44 PM
Airlines Amenable to Bid for Armed Air Marshals
Reuters
2 hours, 49 minutes ago
By F. Brinley Bruton

LONDON (Reuters) - An announcement by the United States on Monday that it was ordering foreign airlines to place armed marshals on selected flights drew a mixed reaction from international carriers and airline bodies.

The Department of Homeland Security said the measure went into effect on Sunday under emergency amendments to federal aviation regulations.

Britain appeared to anticipate the ruling, saying at the weekend that it would put armed police on flights which could become possible terror targets.

One international airline body, which argues security measures should be carried out on the ground before takeoff, was opposed to the decision, as were British airline pilots.

British Airways, Europe's largest airline, which in the past has said it had concerns about the presence of firearms on planes, was distinctly lukewarm about the idea. "This is a matter for the Department for Transport," said a spokeswoman for the carrier.

Transport Secretary Alistair Darling said the decision to deploy marshals would boost public confidence in traveling.

The stepped-up security measures were announced after six flights between Paris and Los Angeles were canceled last week amid fears of an incident similar to the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

Other international carriers appeared more amenable to the idea.

"We are open to having sky marshals in our planes," said Frank Houben, a spokesman for Dutch airline KLM .

Germany has had sky marshals in operation since shortly after the September 11 attacks. Berlin said air marshals would fly on all transatlantic flights and other unspecified routes out of the country, but declined to give more details.

Pilots for Germany's Lufthansa said at the time they were open to having security guards on planes but did not want guns in the cockpit.

French national police said France did not have any armed sky marshals on its flights and never has. Flag carrier Air France said it would not comment on security matters.

In Italy, flag carrier Alitalia said it was up to the government to make the decision about putting armed sky marshals on its flights.

Israel's El Al, renowned as the world's most security-conscious airline with a battery of measures imposed after high-profile hijackings in the 1970s, has employed armed marshals for years.

Israel's Arab neighbors have also stepped up their airline security in recent years, said Kevin Rosser, Middle East analyst for UK-based security firm Control Risks Group.

"As far as the Middle East is concerned, at lot of state carriers are putting air marshals on some international flights," he said.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents around 95 percent of airlines operating international flights, and the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) opposed the decision outright.



"IATA does not like guns on board planes. We want to see the security measures taken on the ground, before anyone gets as far as the plane," spokeswoman Nancy Gautier said.

BALPA said armed marshals made flying more dangerous not safer, adding that the government had not given pilots enough information on the rules governing the marshals' work.

"We do not want guns on planes," BALPA general-secretary Jim McAuslan said.

Waitone
December 29, 2003, 02:53 PM
I got a sneakin' idea the foot dragging performed by TSA on arming US pilots will end toute suite.

The power elites well know no one will be able to withstand the firestorm which will erupt when it is learned another jet was turned into a cruise missile because some semi-kestered blissninny bureaucrat decided to frustrate the intention of congress.

What we are going through right now is fair warning to the power elites.

Jim March
December 29, 2003, 06:25 PM
Has anybody else noticed that what's gone haywire with the TSA program is duplicated almost exactly (although not QUITE as bad) by the New Mexico DPS and their new "proposed shall issue regulations"?

The NM legislature couldn't be bothered working out the details of the shall-issue program, so they dumped it on the DPS just like congress dumped the armed pilots details on the TSA/FAA.

Whooops. Guess what, folks? There's worse things out there than politicians. There's appointed bureaucrats :barf:.

Lesson learned, y'all fighting for shall-issue?

Pin down the details in the state capitol.

BigG
December 29, 2003, 11:53 PM
I'm just surprised anybody in Great Britain still knows which end of the gun a bullet comes out. :uhoh:

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