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Guard Civil Support Team Put to the Test in New York City

By Sgt. Kathleen T. Rhem, USA
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 14, 2001 – Tuesday's tragedies provided an all-too-real test for one of the National Guard's Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Teams.

The 22-person team from Scotia, N.Y., was called to state active duty immediately after two hijacked planes crashed into the twin towers of New York City's World Trade Center, National Guard officials said.

"This is the first operational employment of a certified civil support team," Air National Guard Maj. Ellen Krenke said. Krenke, a spokeswoman for the National Guard Bureau, said the team was one of the first three of such teams certified July 26.

The team was in New York City sampling air at the request of the state Environmental Protection Agency by 8:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The team members spent their first 18 hours on the ground sampling air to make sure no biological or chemical contaminants were present, Krenke said. Since then they've been providing communications support to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents in the area.

"Satellite communications, secure e-mail, telephone and radio support -- they're providing all types of communications for the FBI," she said.

Krenke said the team is made up of 22 full-time Army and Air National Guard members in 14 different military occupational specialties.

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