October 27, 2015

West Virginia Congressional Delegation Urges Continued Support for Summit Point Training Facility

Washington D.C. – Today, members of West Virginia’s congressional delegation and their staff met with Assistant Secretary Gregory Starr from the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security to discuss the Summit Point Training Facility in Jefferson County, West Virginia. The Summit Point Training Facility does vital work ensuring the safety of our diplomats, embassy staff and their families.

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), a member of the Armed Services Committee, has written several letters to the leadership at the State Department and the GAO. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which has jurisdiction over funding for foreign affairs security training, U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) invited Assistant Secretary Starr to meet with the delegation and discuss the proposed construction of the State Foreign Affairs Security Training Center (FASTC) at Fort Pickett, Virginia. The bureau’s proposal, which would require the construction of an entirely new facility with a half-billion dollar price tag, was introduced as part of the State Department’s efforts to meet their increasing security training needs. As the delegation notes, however, these needs can already be met at the Summit Point Training Facility.

The delegation issued the following joint statement following today’s meeting with Assistant Secretary Starr:

“Summit Point has provided the State Department with a state-of-the-art training facility for more than three decades while meeting the department’s core mission requirements and safeguarding our diplomats. The State Department should consider expanding the existing facility that already meets the department’s needs and is roughly an hour’s drive from Washington instead of building a costly new facility and disrupting security training. In today’s meeting with Assistant Secretary Starr, we made clear that building a new facility would be duplicative and unnecessary. As a delegation, we will continue to lead the fight to keep these vital operations at Summit Point.”