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NEWS | April 7, 2016

Rep. Brat visits, tours Fort Pickett

By Master Sgt. A.J. Coyne | Virginia National Guard Public Affairs

Rep. Dave Brat visited the Virginia National Guard’s Fort Pickett Maneuver Training Center March 31, 2016. Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia, and Lt. Col. Preston Scott, Fort Pickett garrison commander, provided an overview of the installation and its capabilities, then escorted Brat on a tour of the Maneuver Area Training Equipment Site, the 183rd Regiment, Regional Training Institute and the Fort Pickett virtual training facility.

“It was a pleasure to learn about how these brave men serve,” Brat said on Facebook.

During his visit Brat first toured MATES, where more than 120 personnel provide maintenance support on more than 500 combat vehicles and other equipment positioned at Fort Pickett including M1A1 tanks, Bradley fighting vehicles, howitzers and a variety of other tracked and wheeled vehicles. In addition to Virginia National Guard vehicles, MATES personnel maintain equipment assigned to the West Virginia and Pennsylvania Army National Guard that is drawn when units from those states come to Fort Pickett for training. In addition to vehicle maintenance shops, MATES also contains supply areas and a variety of repair shops including vehicle painting, body work, communications equipment and small arms.

From there Brat met with leaders and toured the facilities at the 183rd RTI. The RTI is comprised of a headquarters and three battalions. First Battalion conducts infantry training, including the 11B Infantryman Military Occupational Specialty Qualification Course, Light Leaders Course and rappel master, while 2nd Battalion conducts the 88M Motor Transport Operator Course. Third battalion includes both Officer Candidate School and Warrant Officer Candidate School and also trains Soldiers as military police officers. The schoolhouse was completed in 2011 and includes approximately 400,000 square feet of instruction space, including a combatives training room, eight modular classrooms and a lecture hall capable of accommodating 480 students, along with three barracks with two-person rooms and open bay housing that can accommodate 275 students.

Brat then visited the Fort Pickett virtual training facility, where servicemembers from throughout the military can train for combat in a virtual environment. The facility provides individual and group-level training with weapons and tactics, saving both time and money.

Finally Williams and Scott took Brat to the Fort Pickett headquarters where they provided a briefing on the U.S. State Department’s Foreign Affairs Security Training Center and the future of Fort Pickett. FASTC, which will provide hard-skills security training to State Department personnel and the foreign affairs community, will be located at Fort Pickett. Construction on the FASTC project began on Feb. 25, 2016, and it’s expected the center will eventually provide training for up to 10,000 students per year.

Fort Pickett is approximately 41,000 acres and operated by the Virginia National Guard. It features a combination of open and wooded terrain maneuver areas and 21 ranges capable of supporting almost any weapons system in the U. S. Army inventory. In addition, the installation has a rail spur and C-17 capable airfield as well as barracks to support more than 5,000 personnel and morale, welfare and recreation facilities including a gym, post exchange and leisure center.

Photos: Rep. Brat visits Fort Pickett – March 31, 2016

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