Careers with the FBI’s Counterterrorism Fly Team

In order to combat terrorists wherever they operate in the world, the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division has created Counterterrorism Fly Teams that can mobilize and deploy to any location on the map in a matter of hours.  These highly robust units possess immense field capability including tactical responses, intelligence gathering, and advanced linguistic skills.  Composed of the Bureau’s finest Special Agents and intelligence analysts, Fly Teams serve as the tip of the spear in investigative and counterterrorism operations.

Along with other elite teams in the FBI like the SWAT and HRT units, Counterterrorism Fly Teams must successfully pass a highly selective screening process.  Only special agents with at least five years of field experience may compete for a position.  If selected, they must complete a five month long training regimen that includes team building, medical skills, fingerprinting, cultural awareness, hostage retrieval, and physical fitness drills.

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The Breadth and Scope of the FBI Counterterrorism Fly Team

These eminently qualified units are inserted into highly dangerous situations in foreign environments where they are tasked with penetrating terrorist facilities and collecting intelligence.  The integrated analysts who support tactical personnel utilize high-tech analytical and communications equipment to relay information to Bureau facilities.  They also provide on-site analysis which enables the Fly Team to take immediate action if it is required.

In addition to conducting field missions themselves, FBI Counterterrorism Fly Team jobs also involve acting as lead operatives in advance of the FBI’s primary investigative or mission group.  Fly Teams will enter a foreign environment and assess the situation providing recommendations to FBI managers, who will modify their deployment plans accordingly.  The Fly Team also have the expertise and equipment to establish a field command post.

Counterterrorism Fly Team Job Description

Counterterrorism Fly Teams are expected to master the following skills:

  • Seamlessly enter foreign cultures to obtain intelligence and understanding of situational conditions
  • Coordinate intelligence gathering and tactical operations on foreign soil
  • Conduct investigations into potential terrorist activity and relay information to analysts
  • Conduct operations meant to capture subjects or disrupt terrorist operations
  • Gather evidence or information regarding terrorist plans or resources
  • Construct field command posts in anticipation of FBI personnel deployment
  • Liaise with local police and security forces to ensure operational authorization
  • Maintain the highest physical and professional standards as to ensure mission success
  • Support and conduct hostage retrieval operations involving U.S. citizens

Counterterrorism Fly Team Salary

CT Fly Teams are composed of Special Agents and intelligence analysts.  Those members with Special Agent credentials qualify for pay grades ranging from GS-10 up to GS-15, while those without may have pay grades from GS-7 up to GS-14.  In 2012, the salaries associated with these GS pay levels were:

General Schedule Grade
Pay Range
General Schedule 7
General Schedule 10
General Schedule 14
General Schedule 15

Members of Fly Teams are stationed at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C. which has a higher cost of living.  This results in a 17.5 percent increase in pay.  These teams also work extended hours and have around the clock availability which merits Law Enforcement Availability Pay, which is an additional 25 percent of salary.