November 29, 2017

MANCHIN AND CAPITO URGE DEPARTMENT OF STATE TO KEEP TRAINING FACILITY AT SUMMIT POINT RACEWAY OPEN

Washington, D.C. – Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)  sent a letter to U.S Secretary of State Tillerson, urging that the State Department keeps the Summit Point Raceway training facility open, without consolidating its functions within the Foreign Affairs Security Training Center (FASTC).

The Senators said in part: “We understand that the State Department plans to close the Summit Point training site and consolidate its functions within the Foreign Affairs Security Training Center (FASTC) currently under construction at Fort Picket in Virginia. While we are glad that such an important program will continue, current plans to consolidate this training in one location may not provide sufficient capacity to meet our future training needs. If the site at Fort Pickett is not able to accommodate all of the requisite training operations, no viable alternative would be available and a temporary or prolonged suspension of training operations would be inevitable.  That is unacceptable. The West Virginia facility can and should remain open to prepare our public servants traveling abroad for any kind of threat they may encounter.”

Click here or read the full letter below:

Dear Secretary Tillerson:

We write to you to ask for your support in protecting the training facility at the Summit Point Raceway in Summit Point, West Virginia.

As you know, Summit Point is currently the site of the Foreign Affairs Counter Threat (FACT) training course which is an essential program provided to diplomatic personnel and their families to prepare them to safely live and work overseas.

We understand that the State Department plans to close the Summit Point training site and consolidate its functions within the Foreign Affairs Security Training Center (FASTC) currently under construction at Fort Picket in Virginia. While we are glad that such an important program will continue, current plans to consolidate this training in one location may not provide sufficient capacity to meet our future training needs. If the site at Fort Pickett is not able to accommodate all of the requisite training operations, no viable alternative would be available and a temporary or prolonged suspension of training operations would be inevitable.  That is unacceptable. The West Virginia facility can and should remain open to prepare our public servants traveling abroad for any kind of threat they may encounter.

As members of the Senate Appropriations Committee, we have been strong advocates of the continued funding of programs like the one at Summit Point because of the important work they do to prepare our diplomatic personnel. Summit Point has a proven track record of success for over three decades, and the unparalleled training provided by this facility is vital to keeping Americans safe. We strongly encourage you to maintain the site as an operational alternative training ground to ensure that this program will always be accessible to our men and women who depend on it.

We also invite you to tour the training facility at Summit Point so that you can see for yourself just how well the site runs and manages their FACT training courses and why it should remain operational.  

Thank you for your time and attention on this important matter. We urge you to strongly consider this request and look forward to working with you to find a solution that serves our country and honors the brave men and women who serve our country overseas.

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