Excerpt of 1998 description by John Pike, FAS, of the CIA's Special Training
The Farm - Camp Peary
The 10,000 acre Camp Peary facility was established in World War II as a
training base for Navy Seebees. In 1951 it was transferred to CIA, and
redesignated the Armed Forces Experimental Training Activity (AFETA), which
as to "develop prototype training programs for military and civilian departments
of the Federal government." Currently the facility is called the Special
Training Center, or STC.
The CIA's Directorate of Operations uses the facility for training ranging
from the Basic Operations Course (BOC) through advanced weapons and explosives
training, driving techniques, field surveillance, infiltration and exfiltration,
and other clandestine operations and paramilitary skills. Students in the
BOC may be seen in near-by Williamsburg and neighboring communities practicing
surveillance and counter-surveillance techniques, clandestine communications
methods, brush passes, servicing dead drops, etc. On occasion, personnel
from the foreign intelligence services have been brought to STC for training.
Appropriate facilities, such as physical training and driving courses, firing
ranges, explosives areas and so on are available for trainees. Training requiring
more extensive facilities or isolation is carried in several other locations,
Point, North Carolina.
In addition, STC is used as a general-purpose training and conference facility
by the rest of the CIA other Intelligence Community components. The central
administrative area contains classrooms, a library, dormitories, cafeteria,
bar, gym and swimming pool. There are outlying lodges with sleeping and dining
facilities for "off-site" (i.e., "away from Washington") activities such
as administrative and planning conferences or short-deadline group writing
projects (Interagency Intelligence Memoranda, Special National Intelligence
Estimates, etc.). Secure communications equipment ("Green line" telphone,
STU-III telephone, fax and modem) and classified storage through TS/SCI are
available in the central administrative area, and by arrangement in other
STC Agency staff are quartered in a number of single-family houses near the
two small inlets between the central administrative area and the airstrip.
Bicycles are available and widely used within the facility. Like many other
government reservations that have been mostly undeveloped and protected from
public incursion, Camp Peary has a large wildlife population, and hunting
is a popular sport for staff during turkey and deer season.