Evaluation for security training center at Fort Pickett and Pickett Park put on hold

NationalGuardLogo_300x300RICHMOND, Va. — The evaluation of Fort Pickett and Pickett Park in Nottoway County as a potential site for the Department of State’s Foreign Affairs Security Training Center has been put on hold.

Virginia Secretary of Public Safety Marla Graff Decker, Maj. Gen. Daniel E. Long, Jr., the Adjutant General of Virginia, and Col. Bill Korsen, the Fort Pickett garrison commander, met April 15, 2013, with representatives from General Services Administration and Department of State to discuss the future of the evaluation of Fort Pickett and Nottoway County as a possible location for the FASTC.

The representatives explained that due to the current “challenging fiscal environment,” all work to evaluate Fort Pickett and Pickett Park as the site for FASTC has stopped.

GSA and Department of State will conduct cost studies to evaluate if any existing facilities such as the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Ga., can provide the training capacity need for FASTC.

The Environmental Impact Study was positive and had nothing to do with the decision, the representatives said.

“We value the strong working relationship we developed with both Department of State and GSA over the course of evaluating Fort Pickett as a potential site for the FASTC,” said Long. “I am confident that everything was done that could be done during the evaluation process, but the current fiscal environment has resulted in other options being explored. We will continue to support GSA and Department of State as the process moves forward. “

The parcel of land set aside for the possible FASTC location will remain available until a final decision is made, Long said.

Fort Pickett and Nottoway County have not been completely ruled out as a possible location for the security training center, the representatives stated. If the project were to continue, it would be on a smaller scale.

GSA had proposed acquiring land at Fort Pickett and Pickett Park to develop the FASTC, a facility that would consolidate existing Department of State training operations located across the country. The proposed FASTC concept included driving tracks, mock urban environments, fire and explosive ranges, classrooms, simulations labs, administration, dormitories, dining facilities and supporting infrastructure.