9 August 2009. Updated.
Is the Explosion-Noisy Base a C.I.A. Spy School? What Base?
By TIM WEINER
Published: Friday, March 20, 1998
Harvey Point is the place where, for the last 37 years, the Central Intelligence
Agency has run secret paramilitary and counter-terrorism courses for thousands
of its officers and select foreigners -- most recently, the Palestinian security
forces, according to intelligence officials. Established weeks after the
1961 Bay of Pigs invasion, this school for spies has been shielded by secrecy,
security fences and cypress trees festooned with Spanish moss ever since.
Over the last decade, the C.I.A. has given counter-terrorism training to
more than 18,000 foreign intelligence officers from 50 different countries,
including Russia, Israel and Egypt, according to agency officials. Some of
that training took place abroad, not at Harvey Point. The agency does not
discuss its training installations -- ever.
The Harvey Point Defense Testing Activity facility, owned by the Department
of Defense, is located on a peninsula in Perquimans County, North Carolina,
along the Albemarle Sound, near the city of Hertford, NC.
The principal tenant is the CIA. Other agencies such as the ATF and the FBI
have used the facility for complex training relating to overseas counter
terrorism and asset protection training.
21 February 2006. See also:
30 May 2005. One of the Eyeball series.
Maps from Mapquest.
News report of June 5, 2002:
After 41 years of explosive training at a secret base in eastern North Carolina,
the CIA's paramilitary wing is back on the front lines. For the base's neighbors
in nearby Hertford, the echo of bombs is business as usual--and nobody's
Photo By Alex Maness
The gateway to Harvey Point Defense Testing Activity
Description of facility:
[Downloaded 8 May 2002. This was originally prepared by John Pike (now
globalsecurity.org) and hosted
by FAS but has been removed. The CN source
above is also now dead.]
Harvey Point Defense Testing Activity
Elizabeth City, NC
The Harvey Point facility was established in World War II as an operating
base for blimps conducting anti-submarine surveillance of the Atlantic coast.
It is used by CIA's Directorate of Operations for personnel training in
explosives, paramilitary combat, and other clandestine warfare techniques.
Specifically, the Point is where "hardcore" paramilitary ops are worked on.
The Farm teaches basics, relative to work done at the Point, from a paramilitary
perspective. A course called AET, or Applied Explosive Techniques, is just
one example. US Navy SEALs are frequently trained in this course of instruction.
The group called SAD, or Special Activities Division, which is part of DS&T
teaches many of these courses as well. SAD is an office devoted to sabotage
techniques and blowing things up. They run training all the time--were
responsible for the mining of the harbors down south about 10 years ago.
SAD also runs EOD courses for the Secret Service.
Within the CIA's Directorate of Operation the areas are broken into the following
organizational structures--divisions and staffs and branches, respectively.
There is a PM Branch (or paramilitary branch) and their staff is called the
Special Activities Staff or SAS. The Special Activities Staff is on par with
CAG (Combat Applications Group, formerly Delta) and DevGroup (Naval SpecWar
Development Group, former Seal Team 6) as far as operational ability and
missions profile. It is considered a special mission unit [SMU], and carried
out special collection activites (LRSU ops, etc), sabotage, friendly
personnel/material recovery, threat pers/material snatches, BDAs, CT osp,
raids, hostage rescue and other activities as directed by the President.
The SAS is a little known group working within the DO's paramilitary structure
and is divided into branches: Ground Branch (handles land-based paramilitary
combat, special collection activities, sabo, LRSU ops and training of agency
personnel in counter terror/counter surv techniques at Camp Peary, Harvey
Point, and two other areas within CONUS). The Maritime Branch handles all
waterborne activites, such as the jet ski training in the Nevada lakes during
the gulf war buildup as part of a insertion/Hostage rescue op. The Air Branch
is the modern day version of Air America but to the entire world. Air Branch
supplies al planes, helos and related air assets to the agency. If a bigwig
needs to fly from HQ to STC (STC is agency parlance for Special Training
Center, or Peary) they call on Air Branch, which is in the basement of the
agency. If Ground branch needs an air platform for an insertion, they call
on Air Branch.
[Walters, Robert, "Going Underground," Inquiry, 2 February 1991,
The US Navy was authorized in the
Authorizations Act of 2002 to acquire additional land for the facility,
probably some of the farmland shown below to the left of the compound:
309 Sec. 2846 SECNAV, using funds previously appropriated for such purpose,
may acquire any and all right, title, and interest in and to a parcel of
real property consisting of approximately 240 acres, or any portion thereof,
in Perquimans County, NC, for purposes of including such parcel in the Harvey
Point Defense Testing Activity, Hertford, NC.
CIA and Department of Defense Harvey Point Defense Testing Activity
http://seamless.usgs.gov. Dated March
2008. Downloaded 8 August 2009.