Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and Congressman Tim Holden (D-PA) today announced that Pennsylvania National Guard’s Northeast Counterdrug Training Center (NCTC) at Fort Indiantown Gap will receive $3.2 million in funding to rehire guard members. Senator Casey and Congressman Holden have led the effort to restore funding for the NCTC.
“I am pleased we now have this funding to rehire these Guardsmen and women,” said Senator Casey. “At a time when crime spurred by the illegal drug trade is harassing our communities, we need to do everything in our power to strengthen our drug and crime fighting efforts. The NCTC has a proven track record of effectively training law enforcement officials. I am gratified that these critical positions can be restored, and that the law enforcement community in Pennsylvania will be supported.”
“After Congress finally passed a 2011 budget, as well as months of talks, I'm glad to see that DOD and the National Guard Bureau are coming through on their promise to provide $3.2 million for the PA National Guard Northeast Counterdrug Training Center at Fort Indiantown Gap,” said Congressman Holden. “This money will allow for the rehire of twenty-four outstanding PA Guardsmen who provide top-notch training to law enforcement from all around the Northeast. The PA Guard is the best of the best, and this is just another way they contribute to bettering our communities.”
“This is a critical program at Fort Indiantown Gap that benefits thousands of police officers throughout the eastern United States,” said Maj. Gen. Wesley E. Craig, state adjutant general. “It is very important we continue to provide this free training for those on the front lines combating illegal drug activities.”
The $3.2 million funding will allow 24 Guard Members to be re-hired. In February, more than 40 National Guard members lost their jobs due to the lack of a funding. The National Guard Counterdrug schools provide tuition-free training to law enforcement officials, community-based organizations and military groups. Classes provided by the schoolhouse include: Spanish street skills, photographic surveillance, interview and interrogation techniques, identifying deceptive behavior, physical surveillance and domestic terrorism. This funding will enable NCTC to provide training projected to reach 10,000 law enforcement professionals through some 50 courses and more than 150 sessions in 2011.
Classes are taught by subject-matter experts with extensive education, training and experience with proven success in their areas. With continued funding, NCTC will be able to ensure employment for Guard members and provide critical instruction.
For more information about the Pennsylvania Counterdrug Joint Task Force and the Northeast Counterdrug Training Center visit www.counterdrug.org.