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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 089-02
February 26, 2002

OHIO CIVIL SUPPORT TEAM CERTIFIED

The Department of Defense notified Congress today that the Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team (WMD-CST) from the Ohio National Guard is now certified. This team is fully ready to assist civil authorities' response to a domestic weapon of mass destruction incident, and possesses the necessary skills, training and equipment to be proficient in all mission requirements.

Congress has authorized 32 WMD-CSTs. The team certified today is part of the 17 teams authorized in the National Defense Appropriations Act for fiscal 2000. All 10 of the teams authorized in fiscal year 1999 have already been certified, 15 of the 17 teams authorized in fiscal year 2000 are now certified and five more teams authorized in fiscal year 2001 are being organized.

The Ohio National Guard team, the 52nd WMD-CST, is stationed at Columbus, Ohio.