April 24, 2015

Warner, Kaine, Forbes, Hurt Announce Major Step Toward Construction Of Embassy Security Training Facility At Fort Pickett

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine along with U.S. Representatives Randy Forbes and Robert Hurt announced that the U.S. Department of State has completed the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Foreign Affairs Security Training Center (FASTC) at Fort Pickett in Nottoway County.  The FEIS will be released to the public today through the Federal Register.  This notification is a major milestone in efforts to provide a facility dedicated to training foreign affairs personnel in security, lifesaving and emergency techniques necessary for operating in today’s dangerous overseas environments. Building the FASTC at Fort Pickett will enable training collaboration and interagency partnerships between civilian, military, and intelligence elements in the Washington D.C. area.

“We’ve worked together every step of the way to secure a Foreign Affairs Security Training Center that will play a key role in the protection of American diplomatic personnel across the globe,” said Kaine, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who has spoken with Secretary of State John Kerry and Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Heather Higginbottom about the importance of building the FASTC at Fort Pickett. “We will keep pushing for swift progress until the State Department breaks ground on this project, which will help keep security personnel and their families safe while supporting the local economy in Blackstone, Nottoway County, and the surrounding localities.”

“The jobs and economic activity created by this project will be welcomed by this community, and the facility will have an important role in training those security officers who protect American diplomats around the world,” said Warner.  “I am pleased with the progress so far, but we will keep working together as a delegation to make sure this project moves as swiftly as possible towards completion.”

“The placement of a Foreign Affairs Security Training Center at Fort Pickett is both a critical step for U.S. security and an important development for the people of Nottoway. I could not be more pleased to have reached this major milestone in the project’s development,” said Forbes. “With the strong bipartisan partnership of my colleagues in Virginia, as well as the outstanding cooperation from our state and local partners, we will continue to work together to move this crucial project forward and provide for the security of American diplomatic personnel and their families around the world.”

“The release of the Final Environmental Impact Statement is a major positive step in bringing this critical project to Fort Pickett,” said Hurt. “Ensuring that our American diplomatic personnel have the best security training possible must be a top priority for Congress, and I am pleased that Fort Pickett has been identified as the site that offers the best resources for this training and the best long-term value for the taxpayer.”

After a multi-year exhaustive search, in April 2014 the Administration announced the selection of Fort Pickett as the best site to meet the State Department’s operational requirements and take advantage of synergies by being in close proximity to the State Department, its Foreign Service Institute, intelligence agencies, and military facilities in the Washington D.C. area. Warner, Kaine, Forbes, and Hurt have long-supported the establishment of a Foreign Affairs Security Training Center at Fort Pickett.

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