The Department of Defense notified Congress yesterday that the Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Teams (WMD-CST) from the Louisiana and Minnesota National Guard are now certified. These teams are fully ready to assist civil authorities in responding to a domestic weapon of mass destruction incident, and they possess the requisite skills, training and equipment to be proficient in all mission requirements.
The Louisiana National Guard team, the 62nd WMD-CST, is stationed at Carville, La. The Minnesota National Guard team, the 55th WMD-CST, is stationed at St. Paul, Minn.
Congress has authorized 32 WMD-CST. The two teams certified yesterday are the first of 17 teams authorized in the National Defense Appropriations Act for fiscal 2000. All 10 of the teams authorized in fiscal 1999 have already been certified; five more teams were authorized in fiscal 2001.