Diplomatic Security Service to Open New State-of-the-Art Training Facility

Office of the Spokesperson

The Department of State, Diplomatic Security Service’s Foreign Affairs Security Training Center (FASTC) will formally open its doors during an inaugural ceremony at 10:30 am Thursday, November 14, 2019, at the state-of-the-art facility in Blackstone, Va. U.S. Department of State officials will deliver remarks.  Journalists will have opportunities for pull-aside interviews and tours of the facility.

FASTC is the nation’s largest provider of foreign affairs security training. The campus includes three high-speed driving tracks, off-road and improved tracks, explosives ranges, tactical structures to simulate risk of serious injury or death situations and two smokehouses for situations when fire is used as a weapon.  Training also includes land navigation, capstone exercises, and scenarios involving a mock embassy compound. Some of the training courses offered at FASTC include detecting surveillance, providing emergency medical care, recognizing improvised explosive devices, participating in firearms familiarization, and performing defensive and counterterrorism driving maneuvers.

Located on 1,350 acres of the 55,000-acre training complex at Ft. Pickett, a Virginia Army National Guard installation, FASTC meets the U.S. State Department’s growing and unique security training needs to help counter the threats the foreign affairs community faces overseas.  FASTC will provide security training annually to approximately 10,000 students, to include Diplomatic Security Service special agents and the broader foreign affairs community.

For further information, contact DS-Press@state.gov; Barbara Gleason (gleasonbc@state.gov; 571-345-7948) or Lucy Gaddis (gaddislp@state.gov; 571-345-7827).

Media representatives may participate in the event upon presentation of one of the following: (1) A U.S. Government-issued identification card (Department of State, White House, Congress, Department of Defense, or Foreign Press Center), (2) a media-issued photo identification card, or (3) a letter from their employer on letterhead verifying their employment as a journalist, accompanied by an official photo identification card (driver’s license, passport).