The Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, located in Charleston, South Carolina, is situated on the site of the former Charleston Naval Base. 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.
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. A number of administrative and operational law enforcement agencies, as well as commercial businesses, are co-located within the Complex. The federal agencies include the Department of State, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Coast Guard Base Charleston, the SeaHawk Interagency Operations Center, and the U.S. Maritime Administration. Additionally, tugboat and ship support companies operate 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 at the FLETC-Charleston. The U.S. Courts, Federal Probation and Pretrial Academy was established at the FLETC-Charleston in January 2005. In FY 2007, Customs and Border Protection and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement stood up satellite academies. The Naval Criminal Investigative Service also began training at the facility in FY 2007, and the Food and Drug Administration came to Charleston in FY 2012. In January 2016, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services became the newest partner organization to establish a training academy at the FLETC-Charleston.
As the FLETC’s newest site, the training programs and student population continue to grow. With the addition of a five-story, 400-bed dormitory built in 2011, the FLETC-Charleston can house 667 students on-Center. The on-Center dining facility is capable of serving more than 1,000 students and staff.
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 outdoor firearms training ranges located on the Joint Base Charleston-Weapons Station in Goose Creek, South Carolina.
The Complex is located on the Cooper River with easy access to the Charleston Harbor and multiple port terminals nearby, which makes it an ideal location for maritime training. Among the site’s maritime training facilities are a 494-foot break bulk freighter that serves as an in-water training platform, 13 stand-alone boat boarding platforms, and a covered, open-sided structure that holds six trailered vessels, a self-propelled semi-submersible and a yola fishing vessel. The main campus also includes a classroom complex, physical training facilities, non-lethal training areas, an indoor firing range and a Student Center which includes an express store, barber shop, movie theater, Internet café, and a deli/coffee shop.
In FY 2017, FLETC-Charleston completed its renovation of the Skills Enhancement Training Facility, and in FY 2018 all phases of construction for the scenario-based training area will be completed. That same year, a multi-year renovation of an old, waterside naval building for additional maritime training classrooms as well as an interior “facelift” of the Classroom Complex that will focus on modernizing entryways, hallways, stairwells and restrooms will begin.
Continued construction and renovation of buildings, dormitories, and platforms to accommodate a wide array of Partner Organization training requirements remains a high priority.