The FBI’s Counterterrorism Division (CTD) is the heart of the Bureau. With national security as the Bureau’s highest priority, CTD executes its many operations intended to infiltrate terrorist organizations and neutralize them before they manifest as imminent threats. The Bureau’s counterterrorism operations are numerous and complex, prompting the FBI to establish an entire section dedicated to handling the many administrative functions that support them.
The Role of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Operational Support Branch
The Operational Support Branch handles many of the responsibilities necessary to keep field and tactical personnel performing at peak efficiency. This includes developing budgets, long-term unit training programs, CTD strategies, and partnerships with external organizations.
The two primary divisions within the Operational Support Branch are:
- The National Threat Center Section
- The Counterterrorism Operational Response Section
The National Threat Center Section manages the Counterterrorism Watch, which is the FBI’s counterterrorism nerve center. In the event of an imminent threat the CT Watch alerts the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Forces so they may deploy resources to counter it. This Section also provides information to the general public as well as the law enforcement community so that they may assist in CT programs.
The Counterterrorism Operational Response Section administrates the National Joint Terrorism Task Forces, the “Fly Teams,” and the Rapid Deployment Teams. This section is also responsible for coordinating operations with the Department of Defense. It also oversees FBI personnel who have been seconded to other agencies in their counterterrorism programs, including the use of FBI agents in Guantanamo Bay.
Operational Support Branch Job Description
The Operational Support Branch plays a critical role in maintaining the nation’s defense and readiness posture. Using a variety of administrative programs and processes, it ensures that all the available resources at the disposal of the CTD Division are appropriately applied. It coordinates the many operations within CTD so that missions are fully resourced and poised for successful outcomes.
FBI Counterterrorism Operational Support Branch jobs involve fulfilling the following responsibilities:
- Develop and obtain approval for Branch budgets
- Handle the requests for weapons, IT devices, vehicles, and other mission support equipment
- Distribute information to the public and law enforcement communities to obtain assistance
- Alert partner agencies and defense forces about imminent attacks
- Maintain situational awareness of all FBI personnel detailed to other agencies
- Utilizes finished intelligence products so that long term strategies can be designed and executed
- Coordinates the whole of CTD missions to minimize redundancy internally and with other agencies
Operational Support Branch Salary
The CTD’s Operational Support Branch is composed of Special Agents and administrative professionals. While the Special Agents receive salaries commensurate with GS-10 up to GS-15 pay grades, the support staff may receive salaries ranging from GS-7 up to GS-14. All employees receive cost of living adjustments. Special Agents receive a 25 percent bonus to their salaries due to Law Enforcement Availability Pay, while some professionals may receive overtime pay. In 2012, the salaries for these pay grades were