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A Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team (WMD-CST or CST) advises civilian responders in the event of a suspected weapon of mass destruction attack. CSTs are federally funded National Guard units established under Presidential Decision Directive 39.
expanded the operational incidents a WMD-CST could be used to include the intentional or unintentional release of CBRN and natural or man-made disasters in the United States that result, or could result, in the catastrophic loss of life or property.
The WMD-CSTs are National Guard units designed to provide a specialized capability to respond to a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) incident primarily in a Title 32 operational status within the United States, the District of Columbia, its territories and possessions, as established by 10 USC §12310. Congress, the President, and DoD recognized that the WMD-CSTs, responding under the authority of the Governor, provide significant capabilities to assist local and state agencies that may be overwhelmed by a large-scale terrorist attack or where specific technical capabilities to identify CBRN materials are required.
The mission of JTF-CS is to provide command and control for Department of Defense (DoD) forces deployed in support of the lead federal agency (LFA) managing the consequences of a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive (CBRNE) incident in the United States, its territories and possessions in order to save lives, prevent injury and provide temporary critical life support. The CST mission is to assess a suspected WMD attack, advise civilian responders on appropriate actions, and facilitate the arrival of additional state and Federal military forces. Each team consists of 22 full-time Army and Air National Guardsmen and is broken down into six smaller teams -- command, operations, communications, administration and logistics, medical, and survey -- that have been trained and equipped to provide a technical capability to "reach back" to other experts who can assist the incident commander. In essence, these "scouts" are a unique military capability. They can deploy rapidly to a suspected or actual terrorist attack, conduct special reconnaissance to determine the effects of the attack, provide situational understanding to military command channels and technical consultation to local authorities on managing the effects of the attack to minimize the impact on the civilian population, and facilitate follow-on military support performing validated civilian requests for assistance.
CSTs are federally resourced, trained and evaluated, and they operate under federal doctrine. But they perform their missions mainly under the command and control of the governors in the states in which they are located -- under the control of the adjutant generals of those states. CSTs can respond to a WMD incident as part of a state response much quicker than a federal response would allow. Each CST typically deploys within three hours of notification.
originally posted by: robbystarbuck
a reply to: MALBOSIA
No emergency lights just flying down the freeway and the guy who looked over at me when they first passed looked really pissed off so it struck me as weird. If it were just driving down the road i'd feel more comfortable saying it was a drill.
originally posted by: Mikeultra
The CST-WMD units have been sighted on scene before an "event" happened. Two examples are the fertilizer plant explosion in West, TX and the Boston marathon "bombing". They also were on scene at the LAX shooting.
The team – which specializes in response to weapons of mass destruction and which interfaces with local emergency responders to assess events and develop a plan of action – arrived at Fort Hamilton with great fanfare in 2010. Each state has at least one WMD-CST; New York is one of three states that have two, but there has been an ongoing fight to preserve the second teams in New York and Florida, which the Department of Defense had proposed eliminating to save money.
“It’s a little bizarre that we have fought the fight four times,” Grimm told this paper. Previously, upon hearing that DOD was considering eliminating the second teams in New York and Florida, Grimm and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand had successfully gotten language included in a bill that passed Congress that provided funding for the two threatened teams. Previously – unlike the other teams which were funded through legislation – the second New York and Florida teams had been funded through earmarks.
“We worked really hard to make sure the money was appropriated for this CST as well as the one in Florida,” Grimm recalled. “We felt when we won that fight that we were out of the danger zone, but for some reason, someone at a high level was really hell-bent on getting the team out of Fort Hamilton, so it rose all the way to Secretary Hagel.”
So, what exactly, was the WMD-CST doing in Boston? Major Jody Lupo, the commander of the unit, said that the five members who were there for the Marathon were on the ground to support the Massachusetts WMD-CST. The teams, he stressed, “don’t do crowd control and security,” but are on high alert, “walking around the area looking for potential threats.” Should one be found, “they alert law enforcement so they can take action,” Lupo went on. With respect to the Marathon, Lupo said, “The original plan was to arrive Sunday and leave Tuesday.” Their role “changed from standby to response” after the bombing. Not that standby means doing nothing, Lupo added. “While you are standing by pre-event, you are still executing your mission,” he explained.
Ft. Hamilton -- The New York National Guard’s 24th Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team (WMD-CST) received a new leader during a change of command ceremony, here, Wednesday, March 9. Army National Guard Lt. Col. Kaarlo Hietala relinquished command to Maj. Jody Lupo in a ceremony overseen by New York Air National Guard Brig. Gen. Anthony P. German, the New York Air National Guard chief of staff.
ALBANY >> A Brooklyn-based joint New York Army and Air National Guard unit that specializes in identifying chemical, biological and radiological weapons is getting a new commander. Officials at state National Guard headquarters in Colonie say Maj. Ben Genthner of Schaghticoke in Rensselaer County will take command of the 24th Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team in April.
The U.S. Defense Department was poised as recently as last month to dismantle a National Guard crisis team that assisted in the emergency response to the bombings at Monday's Boston Marathon. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on March 29 informed lawmakers in writing of plans to dismantle the New York-based 24th National Guard Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team, as well as a similar WMD unit housed in Florida, House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee Chairman Bill Young (R-Fla.) said on Tuesday. The units were to cease operations by late June, Hagel said in a letter that did not offer a reason for the decision. Members of the New York team "responded to the Boston Marathon bombings," where twin blasts killed three people and wounded close to 200 near the end of the course, Young said. The Pentagon move, now reversed, would have been at least the second attempt to eliminate the two teams as a cost-saving method. New York and Florida both have two of the full-time units that would provide assistance to civil authorities following a biological, chemical, radiological or nuclear incident. California also has two, while other U.S. states and territories are alloted one team.
The only U.S. military team assigned to New York City to support first responders in case of a disaster will remain on duty. It was just saved on the brink of elimination. A day after the bombings at the Boston Marathon, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel rescinded his decision to disband the rapid-response unit based at Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn. His abrupt change of mind was a relief to New Yorkers amid the sudden new concerns about terrorism. During testimony on Capitol Hill, Mr. Hagel announced that the Pentagon won't deactivate the 24th National Guard Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil Support Team (WMD-CST). The defense secretary indicated he had reconsidered the importance of the WMD-CST across from Staten Island on the Brooklyn side of the Verrazano-Narrows bridge. Members of the New York unit were less than a block away from the deadly the April 15 explosions at the Boston Marathon. They were part of a survey squad deployed at the request of their counterpart unit in Massachusetts.
North Hills Hospital is proud to be hosting one of the largest emergency preparedness drills ever held in the state of Texas this week. We will be partnering with the North Central Texas Trauma Regional Advisory Council (NCTTRAC) and first responders from throughout North Texas to test our equipment and processes so that when a real disaster happens, we’re all ready to respond.