Security (S&B/CBRNE) Magazine

SPR 2016

Security & Border Protection and CST & CBRNE Source Book, published jointly, concentrate on WMD response, NGB training, counterterrorism, and border security

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Page 5 of 35 4 | S&BP and CST & CBRNE | Spring 2016 CST & CBRNE spoke recently with LTC Ricky Thomas, Commander, 10th Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil Support Team (WMD-CST), Washington National Guard (WA NG), about training and preparedness efforts primary to unit readiness. CST & CBRNE: Please speak to your role and the overall mission of the 10th WMD-CST. LTC Thomas: As the Commander of the 10th Civil Support Team, I manage a 22-man unit that is highly trained and specialized in responding to incidents involving Weapons of Mass Destruction. The overall mission is broken down into four parts: • IDENTIFY agents used in a suspected Chemical, Biological, Radiological, or Nuclear (CBRN) event in support of the Incident Commander. • ASSESS both current and projected consequences. • ADVISE the Incident Commander regarding appropriate actions or response measures. • ASSIST with appropriate requests for additional support. As a secondary mission, we have transitioned into having more of an All-Hazards response capability that includes homemade explosives and drug interdiction. CST & CBRNE: How has the 10th CST role evolved in the last 15 years? LTC Thomas: Our unit was one of the initial CSTs stood up. The 10th CST was certified by Congress in 1999 to perform its mission of supporting civil authorities at a domestic CBRNE incident site. Since 1999, the 10th CST has provided support to local, state, and federal agencies on hundreds of training and real world support missions. While our role hasn't changed much, the number of times we respond has increased in direct correlation with the need or knowledge of our specialized unit. For example, when we first started, first responders didn't know much about the 10th CST and didn't utilize us as much. Over the years, we've built strong relationships with first responders and other civil support teams, and have developed a great reputation that allows us to be more involved. Just since I have taken command in late June of 2015, we have supported IDENTIFY, ASSESS, ADVISE, ASSIST Regional Engagement Response Readiness

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