Meeting discussed county and FASTC

Published 12:11 pm Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Tracy Gee

Lunenburg County Administrator Tracy Gee commented on a discussion between Lunenburg County leaders and representatives of the Foreign Affairs Security Training Center (FASTC) facility and an upcoming seminar on the facility.

FASTC is currently under construction at Fort Pickett, located in Nottoway County.

Gee said Monday that she and Mary Ann Eicher, contractor and analyst with the FASTC project, met in November to discuss the county’s potential role in potentially housing those recruited in the facility.

“We had a nice, long meeting and discussed the attributes of the county and the towns that would be positive for recruits to come and live here, and possibly permanently locate here if they were interested in doing so,” Gee said.

Gee said the area’s close knit communities was a highlight of the meeting.

“She seemed very positive about our area, that the small town charm and the close knit community was something that a lot of their recruits look for,” Gee said.

Gee said while the county’s lack of big box stores or entertainment facilities could be a potential drawback, she said Eicher expressed enthusiasm about the county and had met some of the small business owners in the area.

“I feel like we had a good, positive meeting and she was excited about our area,” Gee said.

Gee said operations at the administration office will prevent her from attending the seminar, but said that Victoria Town Manager Rodney Newton will represent the county and attend the seminar.

Eicher said Monday the seminar will be held in West Virginia.

“Tracy, as a county administrator, was invited to our West Virginia facility to represent the county and brief our staff members on life within Lunenburg County,” Eicher said.

The FASTC facility will be located approximately 45 minutes from the Town of Farmville within the area of Fort Pickett, Project Manager Abby Low discussed during a Farmville Area Chamber of Commerce meeting in November, according to a report from The Farmville Herald.

The center will consolidate 11 different contracted training sites around the U.S. focusing on hard skills into one facility, Low said, a decision recommended by the Department of State (DOS) to prepare foreign affairs personnel for increasingly uncertain and perilous conditions overseas.

Low said the members of the bureau protect information, people and property of 275 U.S. embassies and consulates worldwide.

Low said an estimated 10,000 students would be trained in the facility, reaching its peak during the summer months but operating year-round with an estimated 400- 1,500 at the facility daily.

Eicher said she could not disclose the current status of the facility.

Eicher said representatives in Nottoway County, Prince Edward County and Chesterfield County have been briefed regarding updates for the facility.