CBP Hires Student Pilots as Solution to Current Pilot Shortage (Multi-Video)

CBP's Air and Marine Operations mission is to serve and protect the American people. (Image courtesy of CBP)
CBP's Air and Marine Operations mission is to serve and protect the American people. (Image courtesy of CBP)

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Air and Marine Operations (AMO) has launched a new program to recruit students exclusively from the University of North Dakota (UND) for careers as airborne law enforcement officers.

Under the program, sophomore and junior students learn the foundation of federal law enforcement while continuing their studies at UND.

AMO’s mission is to detect, sort, track, intercept and apprehend criminals using sophisticated aviation techniques.

UND Aerospace Assistant Dean Ken Polovitz
UND Aerospace Assistant Dean Ken Polovitz

“We constantly search for ways to assist our students in their careers and professional development, while providing solutions for real-world challenges such as the current pilot shortage,” said UND Aerospace Assistant Dean Ken Polovitz.

“At UND Aerospace, we go beyond training and educating pilots to preparing individuals for leadership in government, business and industry.”

In its inaugural year, the AMO Pathways Program will provide up to 15 students the opportunity to work as aviation enforcement trainees.

These students will be hired as federal employees with flexible full- or part-time schedules.

Their responsibilities will include assisting with the development of operational plans for interdiction missions, interfacing with state and local law enforcement officials, and performing security liaison duties.

(Learn More and see the CBP AMO in Action! Courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection and YouTube)

Upon graduation and successful completion of a polygraph, the trainees will convert to aviation enforcement agents (AEA) in Grand Forks or other AMO locations.

Upon accrual of 1,000 flight hours, AEAs will be eligible to apply to the air interdiction agent (AIA) occupation.

Operating out of 74 locations across the U.S., AMO has over 1,800 employees, including 700 pilots.

Its fleet of more than 200 aircraft includes fixed-wing aircraft, such as the P-3 Orion, C-12/B200 and MQ-9 Predator B, and rotary-wing aircraft, such as the UH-60, AS350, EC120 and MEA helicopters.

(A CBP AMO hoist operator deploying a rescue specialist (who is also an Air and Marine Emergency Medical Service member and EMT) onto the beach to rescue a stranded resident. The resident sustained significant injuries as a result of Hurricane Irma. The hoist operator extracts the rescue specialist and subject safely back into the helicopter. Courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection and YouTube. Posted on September 7, 2017)

The location and type of aircraft flown by AIAs is determined by their duty location and mission needs.

“This is an unprecedented opportunity for aviation students to earn a part-time salary while being trained for a challenging and rewarding career to serve and protect the American people,” said Christopher Wiyda, deputy director for AMO’s northern region.

“These young aviators are our nation’s future experts in airborne and maritime law enforcement, and can earn over $100,000 annually after two years of full-time service.”

Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2018, UND Aerospace offers the most technologically advanced flight training complex of any public university and was the first to establish an undergraduate major in unmanned aircraft systems operations.

cbp amo

It owns and operates a fleet of over 150 aircraft and flight training devices, and provides pilot training to nearly 2,000 students from 12 different countries amassing approximately 150,000 flight hours per year.

Students can earn private pilot, commercial pilot and certified flight instructor certificates, and are often employed as flight instructors on-site.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)’s Air and Marine Operations (AMO) serves and protects the American people by patrolling our skies and our seas.

They conduct their mission in both the air and maritime environments at and beyond the border, and within the nation’s interior.

CBP encourages you to apply for the UND Pathways Program today!

To be eligible for the Pathways Program, an applicant must be a current UND Aerospace student, have a GPA of 3.0 or higher, and pass a background investigation and drug test.

Approximately 80 students applied for the program in October 2017 and, after structured interviews, 15 candidates were selected.

The names of the first group of student trainees are expected to be announced in December 2017.

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If you are selected for the AMO University of North Dakota Pathways Program, you will work either part-or full-time, during school and/or during school breaks, and will have the opportunity to learn about:

  • Law enforcement and aviation by assisting in developing operational plans for interdiction missions
  • Interfacing with state and local law enforcement, and
  • Performing security liaison duties

At the end of the program, if you’ve completed 640 work hours, you’ll be eligible for conversion to a federal law enforcement position.

Apply to the AMO UND Pathways Program today!