Government Training Institute (GTI) Relocates Center of Excellence.

October 20, 2008 Southern Carolina Region News

SLED Training
GTI President Chadd Harbaugh addresses the crowd at GTI's announcement.

SLED Training
SLED Director Reggie Lloyd welcomed GTI to our state.

SLED Training
GTI training demonstration at the S.C. Advanced Technology Park.

Government Training Institute, Inc., a leading military and law enforcement training organization for first responders, has selected South Carolina to be the new home of its advanced tactical operations training headquarters. The operation will bring approximately 15 jobs, $2 million in capital investment, and more than 3,000 visitors to the area annually.

"GTI is a top-notch organization, and we are thrilled that they have chosen our region for their headquarters and training facility," said SouthernCarolina Alliance President Danny Black. "With its law enforcement and military characteristic, the GTI project is a great example of the diverse types of industry located in our area."

Black added, "SouthernCarolina Alliance is especially delighted that GTI will bring hundreds of first responders, some of our country's most outstanding citizens, into the region on a regular basis."

GTI will locate its headquarters in a 195,000 square foot facility, formerly owned by NIBCO, in Bamberg County. The company will also locate training facilities and operations at a site located in the S.C. Advanced Technology Park in Barnwell County.

"We were careful to select a location where we could consolidate our training operations, expand our curriculum and improve our efficiencies," said GTI President Chadd Harbaugh. "The Southern Carolina region became the obvious choice in terms of selecting a location that is conducive to partnerships with other organizations in order to assure that our country's military, law enforcement and first responders all well prepared to attack challenges regarding homeland security with knowledge and confidence."

The move comes in response to national demand for the delivery of Active Shooter and SWAT courses approved by U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), taught exclusively by GTI with eligibility for Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP) funding.

GTI's announcement was celebrated at an announcement ceremony and training demonstration on July 31, which featured Reginald I. Lloyd, Director of the S.C. Law Enforcement Division (SLED).

More than 200 industry and community leaders participated in the day's events, which included remarks from Brigadier General (Ret.) Jasper Varn, who said, "I can't think of a more patriotic economic development project! We are proud that thousands of America's heroes will be trained here in Bamberg County. "

David Logsdon, Chief Operating Officer of the S.C. Department of Commerce, was also a featured speaker at the event. Logsdon served in the United States Navy for 30 years and commanded an award-winning carrier based aviation squadron and two ships, including the nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman. He also served twice at the Pentagon working on the Navy Staff and for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and earned three Legions of Merit, the Bronze Star and The Truman Foundation Leadership Award.

"Statewide leaders like David Logsdon and Reggie Lloyd, who have such prestigious military and law enforcement credentials, understand the significance of landing this type of project," said SCA Chairman Kay Still.

According to Bamberg County Council Chairman Chris Wilson, "This is the type of project that will not only create jobs in the region, but will also help stimulate the local economy through the military and law enforcement individuals visiting our area during month-long training courses. We welcome GTI, their staff, and their trainees to Bamberg County and stand ready to assist them any way that we can."

Lowell Jowers, Chairman of Barnwell County Council, added, "GTI will be a welcome addition to our regional community, and we look forward to having their training operations conducted at our Advanced Technology Park in Barnwell County."

GTI's new "Center of Excellence" in Denmark, South Carolina is situated on 44 acres. The property includes 22 acres of wooded ground that is attached to the primary training center's 22 acres. GTI's 196,000 sq. ft. Denmark complex includes: 9,000 sq. ft. of administrative offices and classrooms for lectures, seminars and in class instruction; indoor simulation area for close quarter battle (CQB) training and high-intensity conflict combat scenarios; mat room; weight room; video fire arms simulator; and movable CQB walls for customized training events.

The Barnwell complex was formerly a nuclear fuel reprocessing station that GTI has converted into a homeland security training center for advanced law enforcement and military training scenarios. The Barnwell complex includes: decommissioned nuclear station; low light training areas for night vision goggles (NVG) and thermal imagers; towers and ascending structures for fast roping and rappelling at multiple heights and difficulties; live fire range scalable up to 300 yards; defensive driving track for convoy operations and personal security detail (PSD) training; controlled access, private-water training area; improvised explosive devices (IED) training range; and short range training ammunition (SRTA) capable CQB training areas throughout the complex.

"The success of our first responders cannot be left to chance," said Harbaugh. "GTI will continue to update and expand upon DHS-approved training opportunities so our first responders can reduce vulnerabilities and sharpen anti-terrorism and counterterrorism capabilities. These two new training centers on the east coast will help us reach a broader base of first responders much more cost effectively."