The Air and Marine Operations (AMO) component of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) offers those interested in a career in law enforcement an exceptional opportunity to work with an elite team of highly trained professionals whose camaraderie, pride, and purpose are hallmarks of their daily mi

Pilot—CBP Air Interdiction Agent- Sierra Vista, AZ

U.S. Customs and Border Protection - Air & Marine Operations • 
Sierra Vista, Arizona, USA
Position Type: Permanent
Job Description:

The Air and Marine Operations (AMO) component of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) offers those interested in a career in law enforcement an exceptional opportunity to work with an elite team of highly trained professionals whose camaraderie, pride, and purpose are hallmarks of their daily mission protecting America.

If you are looking for an exciting and rewarding job that also provides great pay, benefits, and job stability, now is the time to make your move.

CBP is recruiting now for these full-time security-based opportunities with the nation’s largest law enforcement organization charged with maintaining the security of our national borders while facilitating lawful international travel and trade. 

*** THIS IS A DIRECT HIRE PUBLIC NOTICE: Category rating, Veterans' Preference and traditional rating and ranking do not apply to this Public Notice. Applicants will be referred for selection consideration throughout the announcement open period.

As an Air Interdiction Agent (AIA) you will perform aviation-based law enforcement operations for the detection, prevention, interdiction, & apprehension of terrorists, terrorist weapons, and other contraband and persons from illegally entering or attacking the United States.

  • Conducting air patrol, surveillance, and pursuit activities related to the interdiction of smuggled contraband via land vehicles, aircraft, or vessels.
  • Monitoring behavior patterns and activities of suspect persons, vehicles, or vessels believed to be engaged in illegal activities.
  • Collecting, refining, and analyzing strategic and tactical intelligence.
  • Searching persons, vessels, baggage, and cargo for contraband or weapons incidental to detention or arrest.

Salary and Benefits:

You will begin your career as a GS-11 grade level Air Interdiction Agent (AIA) and make $80,081 to $104,101 – note, this is a career ladder position, with a grade level progression of GS-11, GS-12, and GS-13. You may be eligible for a promotion to the next higher grade level automatically (without re-applying) once you complete 52-weeks at each grade level (with supervisor approval). Agents will also receive the full package of federal employment benefits that include health and insurance plans, a generous annual and sick leave program, and participation in the Thrift Savings Plan, a retirement plan akin to a traditional 401(k) offering.

Duty Locations:

Locations are offered based on operational requirements, mission requirements, and critical agency hiring needs as determined by Air and Marine Operations. The duty location listed in a final offer letter may include any geographic location within the Southwest Border Region, Southeast Border Region, Caribbean Air and Marine Branch (CAMB), and National Air Security Operation Centers (NASOC) Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) locations. You must be willing to work at any duty location within that region to include but not limited to the following: Southeast Region: Homestead, FL; Southwest Region: Tucson and Yuma, AZ; San Diego, CA; El Paso, Laredo, and McAllen, TX; NASOC UAS locations: Sierra Vista, AZ; San Angelo, TX; and CAMB: Aguadilla, PR

You may qualify for reimbursement of relocation expenses in accordance with agency policy.

Job Requirements:

You qualify for the GS-11 grade level if you possess one (1) year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the next lower grade level, performing duties such as:

  • Flying as a Pilot-in-Command or sole manipulator in an airplane and helicopter in all environments of flight, including night, poor weather, unfavorable terrain, low altitudes, or speed
  • Evaluating information rapidly and making judicious decisions promptly during in-flight operations
  • Developing strategies and coordinating aircraft and ground assets
  • Using information systems and databases to conduct information surveys, queries, update files and disseminate information
  • Experience may include Operation of an aircraft as Captain, Pilot in Command, Aircraft Commander, First Officer, Certified Flight Instructor, Second in Command, or Co-pilot

Hiring Minimums:

  • Pilot Enter on Duty minimums are 1500 flight hours; (up to 500 hours can be waived, reducing the pilot enter on duty minimums to 1000 hours; see Required
    Documents in the job announcement regarding the Flight Hour Waiver).

A current FAA Commercial or ATP Pilot Certification with the following ratings:

  • Dual Rated: Airplane (Single-engine land or multi-engine land) with instrument rating AND Rotorcraft Helicopter with instrument rating; or
  • Airplane Rated: Airplane (Single-engine land or multi-engine land) with instrument; or
  • Helicopter Rated: Rotorcraft Helicopter with instrument rating; or
  • Equivalent military rating of the above at the time of application (eligibility based on military flight experience must provide official orders, forms or logbooks showing their status as a rated military pilot)

250 Pilot-in-Command hours; 75 Instrument hours; 75 Night hours (Flight Hour Waiver available, see Required Documents)

FAA Class II medical dated within last 12 calendar months.

Apply at 750 hours total time - Applicants applying at 750 flight hours are required to obtain at least 1,000 flight hours (depending on the number of hours approved for a waiver) at own expense before being able to attend the 3-part flight assessment. Applicant must still meet 250 Pilot-in-Command, 75 instrument, and 75-night hours

UAS Flight Hours: Applicants may include UAS Predator A (MQ-1), Predator B (MQ-9) flight hours and Predator A (MQ-1), Predator B (MQ-9) or predator based variant flight hours. These hours may be credited towards satisfying the "Total flight time" 1,500 flight hour requirement only. UAS hours do not count towards the 250 flight hours as a Pilot in Command, 75 flight hours Instrument, and 75 flight hours Night. Flight hour logbooks will be required at time of
your Flight Assessment for verification.

Other Requirements:

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this position.
  • You must have had primary U.S. residency (includes protectorates as declared under international law) for at least three of the last five years.
  • In accordance with Public Law 100-238, this position is covered under law enforcement retirement provisions. Candidates must be referred for selection to the Border Patrol Agent position before reaching their 40th birthday in accordance with Department of Homeland Security Directive 251-03. The age restriction may not apply if you are currently serving or have previously served in a federal civilian law enforcement (non-military) position covered by Title 5 U.S.C. 8336(c) or Title 5 U.S.C. 8412(d).
  • Travel Required: You may be expected to travel for this position based on operational needs.

How to Apply

Click the Apply button on this site. You will be linked to the CBP Talent Network page. For Position of Interest select Air Interdiction Agent, then complete the pre-screening questions.

You will then be provided a link to USAJOBS, the Federal Government’s official employment site to complete your application. Be certain to review ALL details of the job opening announcement and follow all instructions in the application process.

If you have questions about the application process, contact a recruiter through the AMO website ( and check the CBP calendar at frequently for upcoming informational webinars, in-person recruiter events, and virtual career events.

Salary Range: 80,081-104,101
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