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DEA Office of Training

The mission of the Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) Office of Training is to develop, deliver and advocate preeminent law enforcement and non-law enforcement training to DEA personnel as well as appropriate federal, state, local, and foreign law enforcement counterparts. The goal of this training is to improve student's individual and organizational performance and assist them in achieving either DEA's mission and performance goals or those of their assigned organization.

The DEA Training Academy is a 185,000 square foot state-of-the-art training facility located in Quantico, Virginia. Also making up the campus is a 31,000 square foot Clandestine Laboratory building that facilitates both entry-level and advanced training for DEA and its Law Enforcement counterparts.

The DEA Academy received its initial Federal Law Enforcement Training Accreditation (FLETA) in 2011. This independent accreditation demonstrates the professionalism and dedication of the training staff.

Our function is to manage and coordinate all entry-level, advanced, special skills and leadership training programs for DEA Special Agents, Diversion Investigators, Chemists, Intelligence Research Specialists, and Sensitive Investigative Units. We also manage and coordinate all supervisory/managerial and non-supervisory/non-managerial professional career development training within DEA. This is achieved by identifying in-service training needs, revising existing training programs, and coordinating DEA employee attendance/enrollment at various interagency and non-government training venues.

Training offered by the Academy includes both on-site and off-site training. We focus in specialized narcotics and dangerous drug law enforcement, asset forfeiture, intelligence training programs, clandestine laboratory training, pharmaceutical diversion training, and international training programs. We partner with various executive leadership organizations and universities and provide oversight of the counterdrug training programs for the International Law Enforcement Academies (ILEAs) in Bangkok, Thailand; Budapest, Hungary; San Salvador, El Salvador; and Gaborone, Botswana.

Training also involves formulating all DEA firearms training standards and procedures. This includes the development, testing, evaluation, procurement, and distribution of DEA-authorized firearms, ammunition, protective ballistic garments, shields, and related firearms equipment to support field operations needs. Providing recommendations to the Critical Incident and Firearms Policy Review Committee (FPRC) and the Deputy Administrator on standards, procedures, and policies concerning all DEA shooting incidents and firearms-related issues is included.


From 1985 to 1999, DEA trained its new Special Agents by sharing facilities with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at the FBI Academy, located on the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) Base at Quantico, Virginia. As both the DEA's and the FBI's training missions expanded, it became clear DEA needed its own dedicated facility. On March 31, 1997, a contract for the DEA Academy was awarded to the Turner Construction Company. The groundbreaking ceremony was held on April 21, 1997. The DEA Academy opened on April 28, 1999.

In 2008, the DEA opened a new Clandestine Laboratory training facility adjacent to the DEA Academy. Prior to the opening, all Clandestine Laboratory training was conducted at Camp Upshur, a remote off-site location on the Quantico USMC Base. The new training facility consists of a 31,000 square-foot training center, which contains a laboratory, raid house, office space, and two state-of-the-art 50-seat classrooms. These classrooms can be merged together to form one large room if needed.

In the fall of 2012, the Office of Forensic Sciences centralized their training efforts by developing a new Basic Forensic Chemist Training Program. Through the sharing of the laboratory, the Office of Training has created new training opportunities and made optimal use of available space for additional laboratory stations and training equipment. The Clandestine Laboratory Training and Research Center will serve as a model environment for state-of-the-art law enforcement laboratory training facilities.


The Office of Training is comprised of the following sections, Domestic Training Section, Criminal Training Section, Specialized Training Section, International Training Section, Policy and Learning Development Section, Legal Instruction Section, Forensic Sciences Instruction Section, Academy Operations Section. Detailed information about the sections are listed below.

The Domestic Training Section (TRD) oversees the Basic Agent Training Program and is designed to produce competent Special Agents capable of executing DEA’s mission. This program consists of entry-level training courses in the following training units: Academic Operations, Practical, Firearms, and Tactical.

Qualified instructors teach the BATs the necessary skill sets used to conduct criminal investigations. The BATs learn to identify and investigate a Drug Trafficking Organization (DTO), execute arrests and warrants on members of that organization, seize and process evidence, and ultimately prosecute members of the DTO.

TRD also oversees the certification of all DEA firearms, tactical and defensive tactics instructors.

Physical Training Standards

The Criminal Training Section (TRC) oversees the Diversion Investigator Training Program, Intelligence Research Specialist Training Program, and the Personal Recovery Training Program.

Basic Diversion Training is a 12-week program that familiarizes trainees with the pharmaceutical and chemistry industry, and provides students the skills to conduct effective investigations.

Basic Intelligence Research Specialist Training is a 10-week program that provides intensive training and development of analytical skills necessary to support DEA drug investigations.

The Personal Recovery Training Program is designed for DEA personnel assigned overseas and focuses on situational awareness, risk management, and survival skills.

The Specialized Training Unit - responsible for planning, developing, managing, and coordinating all advanced, specialized, leadership, and professional career development programs within DEA, as well as DEA-administered state and local programs.

The Clandestine Laboratory Training Unit - responsible for training DEA as well as state & local law enforcement personnel to identify high hazardous environments and to safely enter, render safe, process, and dismantle them.

The Learning Technologies Unit - provides technology instruction to core classes, production of audio video operations, development and administration of eLearning modules, and network administration.

The DEA International Training Section (TRI) has been conducting counter narcotics training since DEA’s inception. TRI is recognized worldwide as a pioneer in training and serves as the model for a variety of international law enforcement training efforts. Over the years, DEA’s role has grown to include providing consulting services to international law enforcement agencies and foreign governments seeking to develop quality narcotics law enforcement programs, organizational infrastructures, and judicial reforms.

TRI offers in-country, regional, and in-house training programs for foreign governments; international agencies; the International Law Enforcement Academies (ILEA); and, the Sensitive Investigative Unit (SIU) Program, currently represented in 13 countries. These courses foster improved professional relationships among participants and cover topics uniquely tailored to a region’s needs.

The Policy and Learning Development Section (TRP) ensures the Training Academy complies with the Federal Law Enforcement Training Accreditation Standards (FLETA). TRP ensures all courses are developed following sound instructional system design processes, manages lesson plan development, trainee survey programs, curriculum review, and instructor training.

The Legal Instruction Section (CCT) is responsible for coordinating and providing legal instruction for all law enforcement training conducted at the Training Academy.

CCT attorneys also conduct Moot Court exercises in all DEA core series employee basic training programs. Legal materials produced by CCT attorneys are valued references for law enforcement personnel and prosecutors around the world.

The Forensic Sciences Instruction Section (SFT) provides training in the areas of drug chemistry, latent print, digital evidence, and drug evidence submission, storage, and destruction. The Basic Forensic Chemist Course (BFCC) is an 18-week intensive course which provides newly hired forensic chemists with the technical training necessary to conduct drug evidence analysis. The BFCC combines hands-on training in the laboratory with academic instruction in the classroom. This course provides students with experience in the analysis of unknown powders, liquids, tablets, and plant materials using the most advanced physical, chemical, and instrumental techniques available.  These practical experiences are augmented with academic instruction in drug design, instrumental theory, statistics, ethics, chain-of-custody, case file preparation, laboratory operations, and court testimony.

The Academy Operations Section (TRA) provides a full spectrum of domestic and international support services for staff and students in three primary areas.  In addition, this Section handles all human resource matters and the Academy schedule.

Security and Facilities Management - Security, Facility Maintenance & Buildings Management, Custodial, Food Service, and Environmental Management. These operational functions ensure the Academy and off-site venues can support 250 full-time live in students and another 150 daily students at any given time. These responsibilities also include managing all venues and dormitory schedules.

Financial Management - Congressional inquiry responses, Financial Management and Budget Development, External Training and Procurement.  The financial responsibilities of this Unit ensure our classes are projected, funded, and executed timely and within agency regulations.  In addition, this Unit ensures all class and Academy materials, equipment, and supplies are procured in accordance with the TR mission.

Logistics and Acquisitions Management - Management of Property, Inventory, Fleet, Reproductions, Mail Services, and Warehouse Operations. The support functions in this Unit manage the repair, maintenance, procurement, and disposition of 170+ vehicles, execute transportation needs for all staff and students, manage and distribute uniforms, literature, and equipment, as well as daily operational tasks to support the TR mission domestically and internationally.  

Contact Us

Mailing Address:
DEA Office of Training
P.O. Box 1475
Quantico, VA 22124

Main Phone:
(703) 632-5000 

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