Security (S&B/CBRNE) Magazine

SUM 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 l Summer 2016 Unit Profile: 6th WMD-CST TXARNG The 6th Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team, Texas Army National Guard, supports a civilian first responder network responsible for emergency response in one of the largest states in the U.S. By LTC William E. Phillips, Commanding Officer, 6th WMD-CST T he 6th WMD-CST, Texas Army National Guard (TXARNG), is one of the 10 founding teams of the U.S. Civil Support Team program started back in the 1990's. Based at Camp Mabry in Austin, Texas, the 6th CST stands ready to respond to support local and state first responders with any type of man-made or natural disaster involving a CBRN hazard. Like all CSTs, it maintains a ready posture to deploy within 90 minutes of initial notification anytime, every day of the year. As the single team responsible for covering a state that, according to 2014 national data, ranks second in total population, second in total land mass, and first in HAZMAT-related incidents, the 6th is one of the most active CSTs in the nation. Network-Oriented The 6th WMD-CST's primary mission is to work with and support the civilian first responder network. To that end, we dedicate a significant portion of our time, energy, and resources to training with first responders. We want to work with them and build capability and essential relationships before a critical incident happens. Since we are funded for this mission, we coordinate with the first responder network to tailor training opportunities that fit their needs and our skill sets. This allows the first responder leadership to maximize their sometimes limited training budget. We respond to their needs and target a specific training objective, whether it is situation or equipment focused, and conduct repetitive training over a number of days to insure coverage for all of their shifts. This limits their budget expenditures primarily to their normal pay and allowances that their personnel would be receiving anyway. For example, we've conducted basic radiation detection training that consisted of both classroom instruction and hands- on training utilizing a municipal HAZMAT team's equipment. The quality of radioactive sources we'll bring provides real readings on their equipment rather than "notional injects" in a scenario. This type of training increases both the first responder's capability with the equipment, and their confidence in the equipment. Similarly, we've worked with law enforcement agencies who respond to clandestine labs. These agencies respond primarily to labs producing illicit drugs, but we've provided some intensive training where we highlighted the subtle but dangerous differences in labs suspected of producing drugs, but were in fact producing a chemical weapon. Rad ID Aside from the training aspect, we are most requested for pre- event and during event radiation detection support. We work a number of major community and sporting events each year, partnered with local, state and federal agencies to insure the safety of the citizens in attendance. In a state the size of Texas, there is never a shortage of events needing support. If we had a second CST in this state, it would be as busy as we are. To illustrate how operational f lexibility can be required, in the latter months of 2015, a portion of the team was supporting a training event with multiple first responder agencies in one part POSTURED FOR RAPID RESPONSE

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