November 21, 2013

State Department: Diplomatic Security Training Needs Are Best Met Using Fort Pickett Facility

Washington, D.C. – Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04) released a letter today from the U.S. Department of State detailing how Fort Pickett, Virginia remains the most suitable location for a Foreign Affairs Security Training Center (FASTC), which provides critical training for U.S. diplomatic personnel serving in high-risk environments abroad.   

In response to a November 5 letter from Senator Kaine and Congressman Forbes to Secretary of State John Kerry requesting a status update on the potential placement of a FASTC at Fort Pickett, the Department noted that the important missions conducted at a FASTC “are best addressed using the Fort Pickett location.” Furthermore, the State Department revised its original proposal and now estimates that the cost of locating a FASTC at Fort Pickett has been reduced to $461 million.

 “We are so pleased that the State Department continues to believe that Fort Pickett is the ideal location for its security training,” said Senator Kaine and Congressman Forbes. “As the 2012 tragedy in Benghazi and more recent threats to a number of U.S. embassies around the world have underscored, there are few missions more important than providing the men and women who represent our country abroad with the training they need to successfully promote U.S. interests and return home safely. A FASTC at Fort Pickett is well-suited to meet this need for years to come.”

In 2008, the State Department informed Congress of the need for one consolidated training facility to improve efficiency, decrease operating costs, and provide diplomats and other personnel with necessary training before serving in some of the most high-threat, high-risk countries in the world. Studies to determine the best site for such a facility were conducted in 2011 and 2012 and Fort Pickett has consistently shown to be the ideal location for a FASTC.