National security is one of the top priorities of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the ever-expanding roles of the CTD (counterterrorism division) to gather intelligence on and dismantle terrorist operations before they harm United States citizens or interests is of essential importance to our nation’s safety.
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Counterterrorism is a complex field with a range of specialties, and these operations require extensive support and coordination efforts. That’s why the Operational Support Branch was brought into existence. Explore the duties and responsibilities of counterterrorism operation support in the FBI, and what it takes to enter this exciting career field.
What Does Counterterrorism Operational Support Do?
The counterterrorism Operational Support Branch of the FBI has responsibility for coordinating and overseeing all operations, whether field-based or on base. They ensure that every agent and staff member are working to their fullest potential and the extent of their abilities.
This branch of the Bureau establishes budgets, coordinates and establishes long-term training strategies and programs, and maintains intelligence community contacts and partnerships. There are two sections to the branch: The National Threat Center and Counterterrorism Operational Response sections.
National Threat Center
The National Threat Center holds oversight and responsibility for the Counterterrorism Watch. This unit is the heart and soul of counterterrorism units within the FBI. This is the section that works closely with Homeland Security and the Joint Terrorism Task Forces when an attack is uncovered. They also keep the public and relevant state and local law enforcement informed and prepared to deal with terrorist attacks.
Counterterrorism Operational Response
The Operational Response section administers the Bureau’s field and active antiterrorism activities, including the National Joint Terrorism Task Forces, Rapid Deployment Teams, and Fly Teams. They coordinate joint activities with the DOD and manages FBI personnel assigned to other agencies in counterterrorism operations, including those at Guantanamo Bay.
Operational Support Branch Job Requirements
The duties of a member of the Operational Support Branch can vary wildly from one day to the next. These professional counterterror experts must always be on their toes and thinking fast. They create budgets, manage requests for technology, vehicles and equipment, maintain communications with other law enforcement branches and the public, help agencies and citizens prepare for and respond to terror attacks, track the location of FBI agents and staff, establish and enact operational strategies and reduce redundancy across agencies.
The job requires outstanding organizational skills, attention to detail, information gathering and critical thinking and analysis abilities. Agents working in counterterrorism are utterly devoted to protecting the United States and its citizens from the increasing threat of terrorist activities.
It requires a strong sense of honor and duty, and a dedication to the job. Those working in this field are among the more experienced and capable of FBI staff, and positions require extensive training and background/security clearances.
If protecting other people is something to which you have dedicated your life, and you want to take part in an exciting and rewarding career field, you might consider entering a counterterrorism path as an FBI agent. Check out the requirements to enter this field and get started today.