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Former Charleston Naval Base Land Exchange Act of 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Ms. CHU. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of Senate 2061, the Former Charleston Naval Base Land Exchange Act of 2012. This bill authorizes the Secretary of Department of Homeland Security to convey a parcel of Federal land in North Charleston, South Carolina, to the South Carolina State Ports Authority in exchange for specified lands owned by the Ports Authority.

The land to be transferred by the Department of Homeland Security formerly comprised a portion of the Charleston Naval Base but is now vacant. DHS currently leases the land it plans to acquire in this transfer and uses it to house some of the operations of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center also known as FLETC.

The Charleston Harbor area includes the fourth busiest international container shipping port in the United States, with one passenger and four container port terminals, as well as numerous privately held terminals. The waterways in this area contain shipping channels, rivers, bays, creeks, streams, the Intracoastal Waterway, and the Atlantic Ocean. These waterways provide a realistic training environment for FLETC's Maritime Law Enforcement and Port Security students.

Specifically, the FLETC Charleston facility is one of Charleston's three residential training centers and includes a variety of specialized capabilities for maritime law enforcement and port security training. The facilities include four deepwater piers for large commercial or military vessels and three sets of floating docks for smaller vessels.

Students at the FLETC Charleston facility engage in programs such as commercial vessel, boarding, training, maritime tactical operations training, and seaport security antiterrorism training. All of these programs are critical to protecting our Nation from the potential of a variety of criminal and terrorist threats.

By allowing a mutually beneficial transfer of the lands between the Port Authority and DHS, we are advancing the important mission of the FLETC.

I urge my colleagues to support Senate 2061, which the Senate has already adopted, so that it may become law.

I yield back the balance of my time.


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