Some airline personnel, but not pilots, are getting security and anti-terrorism training from an Iowa-based institute. Training director Mike Gillette at the National Law Enforcement Seucrity Institute says this week’s news that a test group of pilots will train to carry firearms is not going to have them flying in to the Ankeny gun range for drills. He says every CEO of every major passenger airline and freight carrier like UPS and FedEx signed a document sent to the Secretary of Transportation saying they don’t want to have firearms on aircraft, with all the problems they think that would bring. The NLSI in Ankeny has a shooting range, hunter-training, and programs for officers and security workers. Gillette says they don’t train “air marshals” either as their training is “insulated” for security reasons. But there are other airline employees in the plane, and the Iowa institute has been giving them training in recent months. Gillette says the Ankeny center trains flight attendants and pursers, the flight-crew workers who are “the only thing between you and potential bad guys” once the cockpit door is sealed. Gillette says the flight attendants learn ways to quiet unruly passengers and handle potentially threatening situations. They study everything from self-defense to how to recognize homemade explosive devices, team tactics, and “verbal intervention tactics” for tense situations. The agency’s latest training steers away from martial-arts and combat to more sophisticated psychological methods to keep the peace onboard a flight. The National Law Enforcement Security Institute is based in central Iowa but has branch locations in Washington D,C., Los Angeles, Dallas and London. The training courses for flight personnel are held at airline headquarters. For more information, surft to www.NLSI.net.
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