National Guard Supports Nuclear Summit
By Army Staff Sgt. Jim Greenhill
National Guard Bureau
WASHINGTON, Apr. 12, 2010 The National Guard is helping civilian authorities to protect 46 heads of government and international organizations at the largest domestic summit since the founding of the United Nations.
President Barack Obama is hosting 43 heads of state and three heads of international organizations for the 2010 Nuclear Security Summit held here through tomorrow.
National Guard soldiers and airmen are among those supporting civilian authorities in the largest security operation here since Obama’s inauguration, when about 10,000 Guard members were on hand.
About 170 Army and Air National Guard members from the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia are supporting the summit under the District of Columbia National Guard's Joint Task Force 74, Guard officials said. Among their duties are perimeter security; chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosives detection; and providing Civil Support Teams, which are standing by in case of incidents.
The summit is centered on the Washington Convention Center and is expected to cause significant traffic disruption here through tomorrow night.
The National Guard is providing personnel, vehicles and communications support. Among units involved are the 33rd Civil Support Team of the District of Columbia, the 32nd Civil Support Team of Maryland and a Joint Incident Site Communications Capability from the Fort Belvoir, Va.-based 29th Infantry Division communications section.
The site communications team provides computer network connectivity, Internet access and voice-over-Internet phone capabilities to give the task force real-time communication capabilities, said Army Maj. Tim Wine, communications officer for the 29th Infantry Division.
"Once again, we are glad to assist the D.C. National Guard in this important security mission," said Army Col. Rob McMillin, operations officer for the Virginia National Guard. "Just as we worked together for the presidential inauguration in January 2009, this mission shows the importance of our organizations working together to share resources to augment our ability to protect the health and welfare of our citizens."
McMillin said that each time it exercises its ability to work with other military or state organizations, the Virginia Guard improves its ability to respond if called to support a larger-scale incident.
Among other duties, National Guard civil support teams assess suspected weapons of mass destruction attacks, advise civilian responders on appropriate actions through on-site testing and expert consultation and facilitate the arrival of additional state and federal military forces.