. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC)

celebrated 30 years in operation in Artesia Friday at its Richey Avenue campus.

The Artesia FLETC acquired the campus from the former Artesia Christian College in 1989 and was officially established as a training delivery point. It is the second-largest FLETC site in terms of workload and the largest in square miles.

Four participating organizations have academies co-located here, including the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Federal Air Marshal Service, the U.S. Border Patrol, and the U.S. Secret Service.

The 3,620-acre site includes a full range of facilities for conducting basic and advanced law enforcement training.

During its anniversary celebration Friday, the FLETC thanked the city of Artesia and its citizens for its success with a program that commenced with a presentation of colors by the FLETC Color Guard, the singing of the National Anthem by two members of the Artesia High School choir, and keynote speakers Thomas J. Walters, FLETC director; Carla L. Provost, Border Patrol chief; Ben Salazar, field representative, Office of Sen. Tom Udall; Sen. Martin Heinrich via recorded video; Jacqueline Miller, field representative, Xochitl Torres-Small; Pete Domenici Jr.; Phil Burch, former mayor of Artesia; Raye Miller, current mayor of Artesia; and Peyton Yates.

Walters attributed FLETC Artesia’s success to the City of Artesia and the support the facility has received for growth and expansion over the past 30 years.

“Let us celebrate our past with a vision for an even greater future,”

he said. “Is there room for expansion, and will Artesia accept growth? The answer is yes.”

Domenici told those in attendance that his father, the late Sen. Pete Domenici Sr., “really liked achievement, and in his mind, this is a perfect example of that. He would tell everyone here to keep up the hard work.”

“There is no way to describe the impact this facility has on our community,” said Miller. “FLETC truly is an asset to this community, this county, and the entire state of New Mexico, and we are truly thankful.”

Allan Wilbourn, chief of the Master Planning and Construction Branch, and Woody Wright, chief of the Administration Division, were also recognized as the two longest-serving FLETC-Artesia staff members.

Those in attendance were treated to a 30th anniversary cake and bus tours of the facility.

The FLETC’s growth over the past 30 years serves a reminder to the community and the nation of its ability to train those who protect us.