Secretary of the Defense William S. Cohen announced today, along with 10 state governors, the specific locations of the 10 National Guard Rapid Assessment and Initial Detection, or RAID, teams being established during the next fiscal year. The teams are part of the Department of Defense's overall efforts to support local, state and federal civil authorities in the event on an incident involving weapons of mass destruction, or WMD, on U.S. soil.
Following the state selection announced on May 22, 1998, each state developed and submitted recommendations to Secretary of the Army Louis Caldera for the specific location of the teams within the state. Caldera has approved these locations for these new 22-member full-time National Guard teams: They are:
- Los Alamitos, Calif.
- Aurora, Colo. Marietta, Ga. - Dobbins Air Reserve Base
Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.
Scotia, N.Y. - Stratton Air National Guard Base
Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa.
Stationing decisions were made based upon criteria established by the Department of the Army and provided to the states. Criteria were designed to make the most of existing facilities and to ensure maximum coverage of the large metropolitan areas in each of the 10 Federal Emergency Management Agency regions.
The RAID Teams will assist emergency first responders. Upon request, they can be sent by the state or the federal government to respond to a suspected or actual WMD attack, assess the situation, advise the local incident commander and speed the flow of requested Department of Defense people, equipment and services to aid in relieving the effects of such an event. The National Guard RAID teams form the "tip of the military spear" in responding to domestic WMD use.
During Fiscal Year 1999, Guardsmen and women selected for the RAID teams will undergo rigorous training to increase the support they can provide to local emergency first responders. Following 15 months of individual and unit training, the teams will be evaluated for operational certification.