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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Foreign Affairs Security Training Center (FASTC)


Date: 01/26/2011 Description: DS Anti-Terrorism Assistance training:  Lebanese police being trained for hostage rescue. - State Dept Image Date: 01/26/2011 Description: Firearms training for FACT students - State Dept Image Date: 01/26/2011 Description: DS Agent Training - Defensive Tactics - State Dept Image

Currently, diplomatic security training is conducted at a number of diffuse, leased and contracted facilities nationwide. A May 2008 report to Congress identified the need for a consolidated facility to improve training efficiency, decrease operating costs, and provide priority access to training venues which meet current facility standards.

To achieve these goals, the U.S. Department of State is currently seeking to establish the Foreign Affairs Security Training Center (FASTC). The Department has invested considerable time and effort over the years in reviewing over 70 properties with the U.S. General Services Administration, including the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia, before identifying 1,500 acres of publicly-owned land within Fort Pickett, Virginia. Over the last two years, the U.S. Department of State has worked extensively to conduct environmental studies at Fort Pickett, begin negotiations for land use agreements, secure community support and ultimately reassess and reduce the scope of the FASTC project. The cost for a hard-skills exclusive facility at Fort Pickett, as verified by an independent construction cost estimator, is estimated to be $461 million. Some funding has already been appropriated, and the Department continues to look for opportunities to further reduce these costs.

This facility will be dedicated to providing consolidated hard skills security and life saving training to the foreign affairs community. This training develops the practical skills necessary to operate in today’s overseas environment. Hard skills training allows the foreign affairs community to learn how to detect surveillance, provide emergency medical care, increase identification skills to recognize improvised explosive devices (IED), participate in firearms familiarization, and perform defensive/counterterrorist driving maneuvers. Such training improves security and life safety for the protection of U.S. personnel operating abroad.

Diplomatic security training is conducted at a number of diffuse, leased and contracted facilities nationwide. A May 2008 report to Congress identified the need for a consolidated facility to improve training efficiency, decrease operating costs, and provide priority access to training venues which meet current facility standards. The creation of FASTC will allow for the consolidation of ten of the current eleven leased or use fee facilities the Department utilizes for hard skills training.


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