Sunday, April 19, 2009

Training Private Military in the Valley?

900 Acre Para-Military Training Compound proposed for Shenandoah County, Citizen Group Formed in Opposition

"Keep Shenandoah County Rural"
Citizens for Responsible Land Use

Community Meeting...
Wednesday, April 22nd
New Market Community Center
9184 John Sevier Road
New Market, VA 22844

Click here for driving directions

Northern VA Daily Article about Group's Formation

Website of Company proposing the training compound

The men from Blackwater USA arrived in New Orleans right after Katrina hit. The company known for its private security work guarding senior U.S. diplomats in Iraq beat the federal government and most aid organizations to the scene in another devastated Gulf.

About 150 heavily armed Blackwater troops dressed in full battle gear spread out into the chaos of New Orleans. Officially, the company boasted of its forces "join[ing] the hurricane relief effort."

But its men on the ground told a different story

Read more

What is your opinion on locating a Corporate Para-Military training facility/compound in the Shenandoah Valley just north of New Market, VA?
No opinion, need more information
Free polls from

Shenandoah County Planning Commission Meeting
Thursday, May 7th
County Office Building
Woodstock, VA


Rockdem said...

I'd like also to point out the terrible position into which this puts a really good Valley family. I think about if my Dad and Mom were still living and were given the opportunity to sell the farm... What ever else takes place, people need to respect the families involved.


steve from woodstock said...

okay this is just creepy. why would we want mercenary training located in our valley? i understand what you mean about the family though and hope folks don't associate them with the company.

Jeff in Strasburg said...

We must be very careful as a society with this type organization.
We may well be creating a corporate War Lord class within our own borders.

Old Coot said...

Something to make us all think:
Mercenary Cruisin' in Iraq

John Doe said...

Lowell, since you axed... I think this is causing a strong NIMBY reaction from the locals. First, if what they are doing is legal, and not a nuissance, I don't see how anyone can stop it. If it is like a shooting range, then I would object if I were within a 2-3 mile radius. I used to live 5 miles away from one and you could hear it loud and clear when you were outside. If they are well-behaved and not shooting all the time, I would think that the local economy could use the boost that the business will bring. I don't blame locals for being upset, but I don't see much they can do about it. I'd say the meeting to try to stop it is a big waste of time...

Old Coot said...

Something to make us all think:
Mercenary Cruisin' in Iraq

Lives in Page said...

John Doe may be right about this being hard to oppose.
Here's an article from the Free Lance Star about the same thing.

PCox said...

Good points about respecting the family selling the land and the possibility of boosting the local economy--both valid economic issues. However, there are other issues such as quality of life, commitment to smart land use, "extending a hand instead of a fist", the community and world in which we want to raise our families, and what we believe in our hearts is "right" or not. Private military is a very scary prospect to me--even more frightening to me are the voices of resignation saying it's "too hard to fight it".

Anonymous said...

This is very troubling on a number of levels.

An honest American said...

Private military is a very scary prospect to me...isn't that what your MAN wants? Built it so we can provide training outside of the military as we know, very few Liberal parents would ever think of allowing their precious little children to join the military.

Mark Long said...

I would like to say a few things about the training site. Currently I am in Afghanistan there are hundreds if not thousands of non military or "Para Military" as some would call them. These people protect some very important assets all over the world. The United States Government sends millions every year in training our military personnel thru Private Military training sites ie Blackwater or now called Ze. I myself attended some of these schools I can say it has helped me in my job in the military. People are worried about the property value dropping around the site, if anything it would increase. The local mom and pop shops would have a big boost in bussiness for miles around. As for the shooting that would take place through there is no different then the cannons they shoot off every year and hunting season. Not all non military training sites are "mercenary" training grounds. Jeff there has been Corporate War Lords inside our borders since the United states came to be. Please respond if you think I am wrong.

Rockdem said...

Mr. Long,

Thank you so much for your service to our nation. Best to you as you're there and where ever else you may go.

There are indeed many different considerations to be taken into account with proposals such as this one, and the rights of the land owner and prospective purchaser must not be forgotten.

Your conversation with Jeff is interesting; I wonder if you and he could elaborate what you both mean?

Mark Long said...

I would love too. First to the land owners they must be taken care of, I would ask for the max amount of money I could.
Now as for the War Lords, they are no different then any company in the world let me give you a example have you ever heard of KBR? They have many contracts for the government ranging from building to cleaning and everything in between. That company makes MILLIONS if not BILLIONS every year from the two front war.
War's are about money and changing governments. There is alway's someone looking to get rich off a war whenever one breaks out. Yes there are some bad apples that might have differnet agendas when it comes to the type of people they train and what they use them for. The United States Government watches training sites like this one very carefully. There is always going to be War Lords in this country and every other country in the world. People outside the United States claim that our President is a War Lord, I don't think that is true.
Ever since this great nation was formed every war was started from someone or a group of people who could benifit from it. So there are always going to War Lords in this nation in one way or another.

Mark Long said...


Thank you for your support. I love my job and with the grace of god i will be back at home in a few months. I love the Valley just the same as everyone else does that has posted on here. My wife and children live there right now and i hope to retire there one day.


Mark Long said...

I have just read the requst from Mr. Dolan on the Shenandoah County page. If there are questions that should be asked i have a few that some might want to ask. How many ranges? What types of weapon systems would be employed there? What kind of Security would there be on the compound? Will the Instructors be former military or Law Enforcment? Where would you get your weapons for training? Will you be certified by the government to teach all driving skills, and what would they be used for, Like Protective Service or other types. What kind of cost would there be to use the ranges for the Police or other state law enforcement officals? What kind of jobs would the compound produce for the local population. Will there be set no fly hours during Helo operations. How many people will the Compound hold at max? How often will inspectors check for lead content at the ranges? How will the range limits be set and marked, and how would the local population know the markers when they are seen?

I have a bunch of questions that could be asked if you would like more or would like to talk about it more you can email me at i would love to talk one on one about this via phone line if anyone would like to, i have the ability to contact people in the states but they can not contact me.
I am not kin of anyone this affects as far as I know.


Mark Long said...

Here is the URL for the company Mr. Dolan works for

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