Among the multitudes of career paths one might pursue within the FBI, one of the most exciting might be as a member of a rapid deployment logistic unit, or RDLU. These men and women are those who are called upon to act fast in situations which have immediate logistics concerns. The job requires specific attention to detail, knowledge of policy, procedure and security methods, as well as outstanding communications and critical thinking skills.
Without RDLU units, the Bureau would be far less effective at its global operations. Let’s examine the job duties and career path of a Rapid Deployment Logistics Unit in the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and why it’s a vital role for the Bureau.
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What a Rapid Deployment Logistics Unit Does
A Rapid Deployment Logistics Unit is called upon any time the Bureau needs the immediate establishment of an FBI command post anywhere in the world, as well as providing investigations support for those staffing the post. Their job is to analyze issues at hand, assess the local cultural and geographical landscape and ensure that equipment can be properly brought in and set up with minimal upset to the current environment and climate.
RDLUs have been called upon to set up command posts in many countries across the world, from small towns in the U.S. to war zones like Iraq and Afghanistan. It was an RDLU who set up the Georgia G-8 Summit infrastructure for FBI presence, and for the Greek Olympics in 2004 to protect our athletes.
What Skills Does an RDLU Have?
RDLU units are specialists in rapid deployment. This means they use military techniques and precision and specialized FBI logistics training to provide maximum resources to any given outpost. There are RDLUs in Miami, New York, L.A. and Washington, DC, among other places, and those named have close to 150 staff, all able to mobilize instantly when called at any time of day or night.
RDLUs also require excellent perception, critical thinking, analysis and organizational skills as they are responsible for the monitoring and cataloging of all FBI equipment in storehouses, including information technology, vehicles, communications equipment and weapons. They must be aware of the necessary equipment for a given mission and how to get it where it needs to be.
RDLUs must be experts at communication with mission staff and personnel. They must arrange for food, housing and day-to-day needs of personnel in deployment. They must track all mission resources, must supervise the building of outposts, and provide all needed logistical support to ensure that any required resources are made available fast.
Like most FBI agents, RDLUs begin at Pay Grade 10, with a minimum annual earnings of $47,630 per year at the initial step. Professional staff who become specialists can advance as high as GS-14 and earn into six figures. They may also be entitled to overtime ranging between 10 to 25% of their effective hourly wage due to being on call at all times.
Those who have a penchant for logistics and planning, as well as a drive to support the operations of the Federal Bureau of Investigations in a vital capacity and a desire to see the world, might consider this exciting career path.