Skip to main content

Mooney Offers Facility Support

Martinsburg Journal

Mooney offers facility support

March 27, 2015

By Mary Stortstrom (, Journal News

SUMMIT POINT – Rep. Alex Mooney, R-W.Va., is fighting a proposal that he says would shut down a training facility in Summit Point.

On Wednesday, Mooney denounced part of President Barack Obama’s budget submission for Fiscal Year 2016 planning, development and construction of a Foreign Affairs Security Training Center in Virginia. The president proposed the construction of the Foreign Affairs Security Training Center in Virginia, at an estimated cost of more than $400 million.

According to a press release from Mooney’s office, Mooney has rejected the proposal since a FASTC facility exists at Summit Point Motorsports Park’s BSR facility.

The facility at Summit Point offers “hard skills” foreign affairs training to foreign service security and diplomatic security personnel, which includes defensive driving, firearms training and exercises in a mock Middle Eastern village.

“The program at Summit Point supports approximately 175 jobs,” said Jon Conradi, communications director for Mooney’s office. “Summit Point is not a federal facility. It’s contracted for use. The training center in Virginia would be a federal government center, so Summit Point would be shut down if it is built.”

Wednesday, Mooney sent a letter to Chairwoman Kay Granger of the Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs requesting that she deny the funding request for the Virginia FASTC in the president’s Fiscal Year 2016 budget submission.

“The request for fiscal year 2016 would partially fund the construction of a facility currently estimated to cost well in excess of $400 million, an expense that cannot be justified when current contract operations perform those functions at a fraction of the cost,” Mooney wrote.

The letter also contains Mooney’s suggestion that no funds be transferred to the proposed construction of the FASTC from other accounts.

Conradi said that BSR and the Department of State have invested approximately $50 million in capital improvements to the training facilities at Summit Point since the training center’s opening in 1982, allowing the facilities to meet anticipated Department of State training requirements over the next five years.

He said the proposed FASTC in Virginia would not offer any training features not currently available – or that could be made available – at Summit Point.

According to Conradi, the appropriations process will begin when the Congressional budget is finalized.

“In about April or May, each appropriations subcommittee will work on a bill for each of their jurisdiction and then appropriate funding,” he said. “This matter would be handled by the Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs. Any decision … would be made between May and the beginning of the August recess.”

– Staff writer Mary Stortstrom can be reached at 304-725-6581 or