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Keeping the Skies Friendly

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2005
2 pages
This article describes the explosives training provided Federal air marshals by the National Institute of Justice's National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center-Rocky Mountain (NLECTC-Rocky Mountain) in Denver.
The specialized training in explosives complements the training that all Federal air marshals receive upon entering the service. Although air marshals receive basic training in explosives and how to handle situations that involve them, the training provided by NLECTC-Rocky Mountain expands on the basic training in explosives and involves demonstrations. In Summer 2004, a series of classes began, based on the NLECTC-Rocky Mountain's existing Explosives Remediation Program. The classes give air marshals hands-on opportunities to learn about types of improvised explosive devices that terrorist organizations might attempt to use onboard commercial aircraft. The classes also include other information and tactics to help marshals mitigate threats to commercial aviation. Participants observe real explosives and the items that can be used to make a bomb, so they know what to look for in assessing threats. Classes include demonstrations of numerous improved devices constructed with a variety of explosives. The featured explosives are those that can be concealed in items that travelers regularly bring onboard aircraft, as well as unusual items used in the construction of improvised explosive devices. The opportunity to see actual explosives and observe the destruction they can cause reinforces the seriousness of the threat.

Date Published: January 1, 2005