Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld announced today the stationing plan for five additional National Guard Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Teams (WMD-CST) authorized in the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2001. These teams, scheduled for establishment and certification in fiscal 2003, are a key element of the Department of Defense's overall program to provide support to civil authorities in the event of an incident involving weapons of mass destruction in the United States.
The five teams will be stationed in Alabama, Kansas, Michigan, Tennessee, and West Virginia. This brings the total number of National Guard WMD-CSTs to 32 to date.
These National Guard teams will provide DoD's unique expertise and capabilities to assist state governors in preparing for and responding to chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) incidents as part of a state's emergency response structure. Each team consists of 22 highly skilled, full-time National Guard members who are federally resourced, trained and exercised, and employs federally approved CBRN response doctrine.
Stationing criteria used to identify the new locations included coverage of major metropolitan areas based on population density; minimizing overlap with existing WMD-CSTs and other DoD response elements; and availability of existing facilities and support capabilities.