Watchdog agency finds Air Marshals deaths and medical issues are climbing at alarming rates


Air Marshal National Council

We now have all the evidence we need that the unregulated flight schedule the agency forces its agents to fly is hazardous to their health.”

— Dave Londo -Vice President of the Air Marshal National Council

WASHINGTON, DC, UNITED STATES , February 13, 2020 / — The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) conducted a first of its kind investigation into Federal Air Marshals quality of life, and the results released today are disturbing.

In 2018, Federal Air Marshals contacted Senator Corey Bookers office and requested intervention. The U.S. GAO report began in 2018 and was released today reporting that “FAMS does not monitor the extent to which air marshals' actual work hours are consistent with guidelines because it has not identified a need to do so. As a result, it cannot determine how frequently air marshals work beyond guidelines and is not well-positioned to manage risks associated with long work hours. ” Shockingly the report went on to say “From 2013 to 2019 13 fams died while employed,” and “From 2013 to 2018 OWCP claims quadrupled from 71 to 269”. The Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP) administers four major disability compensation programs which provide wage replacement benefits, medical treatment, vocational rehabilitation and other benefits to certain workers or their dependents who experience work-related injury or occupational disease.

The TSA/ FAMS Systems Operation Control Section ( SOCS) is responsible for planning and preparing air marshals’ schedules. Recently the Air Marshal National Council (AMNC) received internal complaints that the Special Agent in Charge of the SOCS, referred to himself as the "Tin Man" in front of employees. This personalized nickname was an apparent attempt to brag about not having a heart when scheduling Air Marshals. It is shocking, given the dramatic amount of suicides and serious medical issues to have an agency senior leader describe himself in this manner. The AMNC has requested an investigation into the SACs actions. Another field office SAC, when questioned about the excessive flight schedules, provided the response "We are professionals" with no concern for the workforce.

This is a very grim outlook nineteen years after the September 11th terrorist attacks, on how the flight schedule is beginning to affect the rank and file Air Marshals. The AMNC, the exclusive voice of flying Federal Air Marshals, has been working with Congress on these issues for some time.

In September 2019, ABC News exposed a toxic culture in the agency that paints a dire picture of an agency with a government leading medical retirement and workman’s compensation rates and mental health issues. The report stated “According to documents we reviewed, in March 2017, Medical Programs Section officials reported the most common medical restrictions were due to mental health and cardiac conditions.” These findings corroborate what the AMNC has been reporting for years.

Sonya LaBosco
Air Marshal National Council
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Source: EIN Presswire