A May 2008 report to Congress identified the need for a consolidated foreign affairs security training facility to improve training efficiency, decrease operating costs, and provide priority access to training venues that meet current facility standards.
To achieve these goals, the Department of State is constructing the Foreign Affairs Security Training Center (FASTC) at Fort Pickett and on adjacent property near Blackstone, Virginia. FASTC will provide lifesaving security training to Department of State personnel and members of the foreign affairs community.
This training will help the foreign affairs community develop the practical skills necessary to operate in today’s overseas environment. At FASTC, trainees learn how to detect surveillance, provide emergency medical care, better recognize improvised explosive devices, increase firearms abilities, and perform defensive driving maneuvers. Such training improves security and safety for the protection of Department of State personnel working abroad.
The Department of State, working with the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), conducted environmental studies at Fort Pickett, which showed that the site was suitable for FASTC. In 2015, GSA purchased property and secured land use agreements for approximately 1,400 acres of publicly held land. On February 25, 2016, construction began for the FASTC project.
The creation of FASTC will allow for the consolidation of 10 of the current 11 leased or use fee facilities the Department of State used for hard-skills training.