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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 342-01
July 27, 2001

THREE CIVIL SUPPORT TEAMS CERTIFIED

Three National Guard units were certified yesterday as the nation's first fully mission capable Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Teams (WMD-CST). These teams are designed to support incident commanders responding to a terrorist use of a weapon of mass destruction. The three weapons of mass destruction civil support teams are the 8th WMD-CST, Aurora, Colo.; the 2nd WMD-CST, Scotia, N.Y.; and the 10th WMD-CST, Tacoma, Wash.

The Department of Defense has notified Congress that teams from Colorado, New York and Washington possess the requisite skills, training and equipment to be proficient in all mission requirements.

A total of 32 weapons of mass destruction civil support teams have been authorized by Congress and are in various stages of organization. The three teams certified yesterday are among the first 10 teams authorized in the National Defense Appropriations Act for fiscal 1999. Seventeen additional teams were authorized in fiscal 2000; five more teams were authorized in fiscal 2001.