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The Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, located in Charleston, South Carolina, is situated on the site of the former Charleston Naval Base in South Carolina. It is one of three Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC) residential training sites in the United States. The Charleston facility officially entered the FLETC inventory through legislation in Fiscal Year (FY) 2003 when the FLETC was transferred to the Department of Homeland Security. Current operations began on October 1, 2004. Prior to that time, since the mid-1990s, Charleston had been used by the U.S. Border Patrol to accommodate overflow training from FLETC-Glynco (until the Border Patrol moved all of its training operations to Artesia in 2004).

The portion of the former Naval Base identified by legislation as the “Federal Enclave” is now known as the Charleston Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers and Federal Complex (FLETC/FC). The Charleston complex is unique, and unlike the other FLETC facilities located at Glynco, Ga.; Artesia, N.M.; or Cheltenham, Md., in that Charleston serves as the home for a number of administrative and operational law enforcement agencies, and commercial businesses, all co-located within the Complex. The federal agencies include the Department of State, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Charleston, Sea Hawk Interagency Operations Center, and the U.S. Maritime Administration. Additionally, there are tugboat, ship support, and helicopter medical evacuation companies operating on the Complex.

In December 2004, the U.S. Coast Guard officially consolidated its Boarding Officer and Boarding Team Member Schools by commissioning the Maritime Law Enforcement Academy (MLEA) at the FLETC-Charleston. The U.S. Courts, Federal Probation and Pretrial Services established its academy at the FLETC-Charleston in January 2005. In FY 2007, Customs and Border Protection and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement established satellite academies in Charleston. Additionally, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service began training at the FLETC-Charleston in FY 2007. The Food and Drug Administration became the newest partner organization to establish a training academy in Charleston in FY 2012.

As the FLETC’s newest site, the training programs and student population continue to grow. After the completion of its new five-story, 400-bed dormitory in September 2011, the FLETC-Charleston can now house 767 students on-center. Charleston also maintains several contracts with local area hotels to accommodate additional students, should the need arise. The on-center dining facility is capable of serving more than 1,000 students and staff. For FY 2013, the total student throughput at the FLETC-Charleston was approximately, 6,285.

The Charleston facility consists of a total of over 200 acres. Additionally, FLETC-Charleston has a use agreement with the U.S. Air Force for additional acreage located on the Naval Weapons Station in Goose Creek, S.C., where outdoor Firearms training ranges are located.

In FY 2012, FLETC-Charleston added a new boat boarding structure to the existing thirteen boat boarding platforms. This covered, open-sided structure holds six trailered vessels, a self-propelled semi-submersible (SPSS) and a yola fishing vessel. These boat structures complement other maritime training platforms at FLETC-Charleston such as the SS Cape Chalmers, a 494 foot break bulk freighter that serves as an in-water training platform, and conex containers designed as vessel simulators for non-lethal training. Additional facilities include the classroom complex, physical techniques facility, Student Center with an express store, a barber shop, a movie theater, study rooms, an Internet café, and a deli, all located on the main campus.

The near and long-range plans for FLETC-Charleston include construction of the New Shipping and Receiving Facility in FY 2014. In FY 2015, all phases of construction for the new, nine-acre Scenario-based Training Area will be completed. Continued construction and renovation of buildings, dormitories, and platforms to accommodate a wide array of Partner Organization training requirements will remain a high priority.

The Complex is ideally located on the Cooper River with easy access to the Charleston Harbor. Also nearby are multiple Port Terminals, and well-planned onsite assets and platforms devoted to maritime law enforcement and security training. These are all central features of the FLETC/FC-Charleston Maritime asset mix. New and revised training includes Seaport Security Antiterrorism, Commercial Vessel Boarding, Maritime Tactical Training, Radiation Detection, Confined Spaces Entry and Weapons of Mass Effect training. Other training facilities at FLETC/FC-Charleston resemble those found at FLETC-Glynco and FLETC-Artesia.

Contact Information

FLETC Charleston Emergency Operational Status Line:
(843) 746-7755

Additional Information

Charleston Chamber of Commerce
Charleston Student Information Bulletin
Charleston Training Programs
Charleston Weather Information