Rep. LoBiondo joins Homeland Security Under Sec. Asa Hutchinson in Addressing Graduating Air Marshals
Graduates Represent Final Class of Air Marshals Who Joined Just After 9/11
POMONA, N.J. - Rep. Frank A. LoBiondo (NJ-2) today joined Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Under Secretary Asa Hutchinson and Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS) Director Thomas D. Quinn in addressing the newest class of Federal Air Marshal graduates at the Federal Air Marshal Service Training Facility. The new Federal Air Marshal graduates represent the final class of Air Marshals who joined immediately after September 11, 2001.
"On Sept. 10, 2001, our nation had less than 40 Federal Air Marshals protecting America's skies," said Rep. LoBiondo.
"The next day our lives were changed forever. In the face of a cowardly attack on its citizens, America began to rebuild itself, stronger, tougher and wiser than before. After Sept 11th, a new kind of Federal Air Marshal was needed because a new breed of hijacker was born. A hijacked plane evolved into something much more ominous than just a new destination at gunpoint. Airplanes became deadly, guided missiles."
"While these graduates represent the last class of Air Marshals who joined immediately after the September 11 attack, the training center will continue to train new Federal Air Marshals, and do important recurrent training for locally based Air Marshals," Rep. LoBiondo said. "Their training here is far more sophisticated than just airborne firearm proficiency and hand to hand combat. Federal Air Marshals are America's first line of defense, and represent an important signal to those who would use our planes as weapons. Their rigorous training makes them the most highly trained protective service in aviation History. Federal Air Marshals volunteer for this job, and work unseen with quiet bravery to protect air travelers every day. We must never fail to recognize the massive contribution our Federal Air Marshals make. And we must give them the support they need to fight the War on Terror."