Go inside Federal Air Marshal's training

Published On: May 17 2013 03:37:23 PM EDT   Updated On: May 18 2013 11:44:08 AM EDT
MIAMI -

Local 10 goes inside the intensive training of Federal Air Marshals, who work covertly to protect air travelers.

"We try to throw in every scenario that's possible just so when that day comes, we're ready," said Steven Petrick, Supervisory U.S. Air Marshal.

The Federal Air Marshals started in the 1960s to handle an increased number of hijackings, but there were only a few dozen marshals in the country until Sept. 11, 2011, the day the agency became very public.

But marshals keep their work very private, developing cover stories if needed.

"We're always looking. That's our specialty," said Nate Gulick, Supervisory Air Marshal in Charge. "The whole point of the air marshal is to make sure the airplane leaves the airport and lands at the airport safely."

Federal Air Marshals are the best shooters in the country with higher marksmanship scores than the FBI, Secret Service, or any other agency.

"There are multiple redundant systems aboard commercial aircraft and we train to never miss," said Abel Reynoso, Asst. Supervisory Air Marshal in Charge.

The Federal Air Marshal's elite Viper Team also works on the ground, helping police in cities like Fort Lauderdale stop terror threats.

"We have one of the finest police departments in the country. We feel very good about our Fort Lauderdale Police Department. Our leadership, top to bottom, [is] probably the finest group of public servants you'll ever meet," said Fort Lauderdale Mayor John "Jack" Seiler. "But at the same time, they can't be experts in everything."

Federal Air Marshals haven't suffered from budget cuts affecting other agencies.