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Natsios Young Architects

9 May 2002

Excerpt of 1998 description by John Pike, FAS, of the CIA's Special Training Center:
The Farm - Camp Peary
Williamsburg, VA

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, such as Harvey 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 locations.

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.


Property boundary in 1998 by John Pike/FAS.

It is not clear if these and those at right are CIA facilities; they are shown outside of John Pike's property boundary above but are linked to the STC by a footbridge (see upper right of large photo). They may be used by an affiliated government agency or private organization.