New York Guard Readies for New Year's Eve
By Eric Durr
Special to American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Dec. 31, 2008 As New Yorkers and visitors gear up today for New Year's Eve celebrations, the citizen soldiers and airmen of the New York National Guard are ready to support homeland security missions throughout the state, officials said.
At the direction of Gov. David Paterson, members of the New York Army and Air National Guard will conduct additional security missions and stand ready to respond to local civil authorities if an emergency occurs.
In New York City, National Guard soldiers and airmen will conduct increased security operations at Penn Station, the Port Authority Trans-Hudson terminal and at LaGuardia and Kennedy airports in coordination with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
The National Guard's 2nd Civil Support Team, a full-time, rapid-response element that detects chemical, biological or radiological hazards, also will provide a detachment in Manhattan to support the New York Police Department. The 22-man detachment, based at the Scotia Air National Guard Base near Schenectady, N.Y., has worked with New York City police for counterterrorism support operations since the unit's formation in 2000, state officials said.
At the New York National Guard headquarters in Latham, N.Y., staff representatives from New York state’s military forces will operate the National Guard's joint operations center. This command and control node provides links to the New York State Emergency Management Office and New York State Office of Homeland Security.
The New York National Guard also will provide liaison officers to New York’s emergency management office and the New York City police.
(Eric Durr serves with the New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs.)