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Marine Interdiction Agents are an integral part of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection team. If Air Interdiction Agents work in the air to protect the United States, the oceans, lakes, and rivers are the workplaces of CBP Marine Interdiction Agents. Members of this elite group are tasked with the prevention of entry of terrorists and their weapons into our soil. They also interdict illegal narcotics and smuggled items as well as prevent the entry of undocumented aliens. They do so by patrolling the bodies of water on various vessels that they command.
CBP Marine Interdiction Agent
The job of Marine Interdiction Agents is challenging, to say the least. Together with the Nation’s other law enforcement agencies, you will conduct overt and covert operations against suspected terrorist activities on water. When there are natural disasters, you will be called to give aid. If Air Interdiction Agents provide air security for such events as the Super Bowl, Marine Interdiction Agents are called upon to give maritime security. Expect to operate in the mornings and also at night. You will also have to prepare yourself to sail even in adverse sea conditions.
If you want to apply as a Marine Interdiction Agent, you have to meet the basic qualification requirements. These are:
- Possess U.S. Citizenship and have residency in the U.S. for the past 3 years
- Be appointed before your 40th birthday; and
- Be able to successfully complete a background a thorough investigation and drug test. Having marine or law enforcement experience is a huge advantage.
- You also need to have a U.S. Coast Guard Marine license. Any of the following licenses will qualify you to become a Marine Interdiction Agent: Masters License (any tonnage); Operator of Un-inspected Passenger Vessel (OUPV) License; Deck Mates License (Chief Mate, Second Mate and Third Mate) of greater than 200 gross tons; and Deck Mates License (Chief Mate, Second Mate and Third Mate) of 200 gross tons or less (Near Coastal and Offshore).
- All applicants must also pass a polygraph test and have the ability to obtain and maintain a Secret security clearance.
All applicants must pass a Pre-Employment Physical Fitness Test similar to the one that all applicants for Air Interdiction Agents must take. For part one, the tests to be taken are the following: Push Up Test—a timed test that requires you to complete a minimum of 12 proper form push-ups in 60 seconds; Side Step Test –another timed test that requires you to complete a minimum of 9 line crosses/touches in 10 seconds (2 trials given); and a Sit Up Test – a timed test that requires you to complete 20 proper form sit ups in 60 seconds. The second part of the PFT is a Step Test which is also a timed test that requires you to step up and down on a 12- inch high platform at a rate of 120 steps per minute for 5 minutes.
Applicants who are considered for selection will have to pass three assessments to still be in the running to become Marine Interdiction Agents. The first is a Written Examination which will evaluate your knowledge on Rules of the Road, Navigation General, and Deck General. Use your study aides for preparing for the OUPV license to prepare for this test. Don’t forget to practice chart plotting as there will be questions about this in the test. You don’t have to bring chart plotting tools as these will be provided.
The second assessment that you will have to pass is the Vessel Evaluation where you need to demonstrate your vessel handling proficiency on a 30′ twin engine vessel. Your knowledge of equipment safety and nomenclature, Marine VHF, vessel handling and practical demonstration of navigation and docking in various conditions will be assessed in this test.
The final assessment is the Structured Oral Interview. You will be given scenario-based interview questions that will give you the chance to show that you have the core competencies needed to do your job as a Marine Interdiction Agent.
If you do pass these and all the other requirements set forth by the CBP, you will be given an offer of employment subject to training conditions. You must attend and successfully pass the evaluations and assessments of the Air and Marine Basic Academy Training and the Marine Law Enforcement Training Program (MLETP) at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Glynco, GA. You must also successfully complete a Spanish Training Course at a designated CBP Language Facility; a Crew member Training Course at your local duty station; Tactical Boarding Officer Training and Initial Vessel Commander certification which will both be done at the National Marine Training Center (NMTC) in St. Augustine, FL.