The Brunswick News
The Federal Law Enforcement Training Center can more than handlesecurity training for the State Department and save taxpayers millionsof dollars in the process, the congressman whose district includes thecenter in Glynn County says.
The savings and capability of the training center are part of anargument presented by U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, R-1, in a recent letterto U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
Kingston supports strong training programs for State Departmentpersonnel but is opposed to spending an estimated $1 billion on thedevelopment of a Foreign Affairs Security Training Center - or FASTC -at Fort Pickett at Blackstone, Va.
The Federal Law Enforcement Training Center - with its headquartersat Brunswick and facilities at Artesia, N.M., Charleston, S.C., andCheltenham, Md. - was created to consolidate law enforcement trainingfor most federal agencies. It is already providing training to theState Department's Diplomatic Security Service and Office of InspectorGeneral, two of the 91 agencies it serves.
Kingston said FLETC has shown it can handle the State Department'sneeds, citing a viability assessment conducted by FLETC and submittedto the federal Office of Management and Budget.
"In this report, FLETC detailed (its) proposals for full FASTC use andcalculated saving over $635 million in capital investment," he wrote inthe letter. "Over the 10-year cost projection, the government will save$813 million in operational costs with the FLETC alternative.
"In addition to readily available classroom and instruction facilities,FLETC already employs support staff, which will limit the need to hireadditional (staff)."
Funding for a new training facility was included in a budget submittedby the State Department for the new fiscal year in October, but it wastaken out after Kingston and members of the U.S. Senate questioned thelack of a feasibility or impact study.
"As you know, a variety of federal agencies have sought to establishnew, separate training centers for their agencies over many years -sometimes inspired by members of Congress whose states they viewed asthe ideal setting, other times by an earnest desire to provide the besttraining possible," Kingston wrote Kerry.
"I am as dedicated as anyone in government to assuring that our lawenforcement officers receive the best preparation possible. However,these efforts have been rejected in most cases because FLETC wasestablished to consolidate federal training facilities, achievesignificant cost efficiencies of co-location and avoid this kind ofproliferation.
"In these difficult budget times, it would be an irresponsible use oftaxpayer dollars to develop duplicative federal trainingcenters."
Kingston ended the letter to Kerry by urging him to "fully consider theGlynco FLETC facility" for the State Department's training needs.
The letter, a copy of which was only recently given to The News, wasdated Nov. 18.