10th Civil Support Team
The Washington National Guard’s 10th Civil Support Team (WMD CST) identifies and assesses suspected Weapons of Mass Destruction hazards, advises civilian responders on appropriate actions through on-site testing and expert consultation, and facilitates the arrival of additional state and federal military forces. The team can be en route within three hours to support civil authorities.
Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team Mission
The mission of the WMD CST is to support civil authorities at a domestic CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and high-yield Explosives) incident site with identification and assessment of hazards, advice to civil authorities, and facilitating the arrival of follow-on military forces during emergencies and incidents of WMD terrorism, intentional and unintentional release of CBRN materials and natural or man-made disasters in the United States that result in, or could result in, catastrophic loss of life or property. WMD CSTs complement and enhance, but do not duplicate, state CBRNE response capabilities.
The Adjutant General either employs the WMD CST to support the state response under the direction of the governor or to support another state’s response under a supported governor. The WMD CST is comprised of a small group of full-time, Title 32 AGR Army and Air National Guard personnel. The structure of the unit is divided into six sections: command, operations, communications, administration/logistics, medical/analytical, and survey. Each WMD CST deploys, within a few hours of notification, to an incident site using its organic assigned vehicles which includes a command vehicle, operations trailer, a communications platform called the Unified Command Suite (which provides a broad spectrum of secure communications capabilities), an Analytical Laboratory System vehicle (containing a full suite of analysis equipment to support the characterization of the hazard) and several general purpose vehicles. The WMD CST can also be moved by air, rail, commercial line haul or ship.
The Civil Support Team is assigned to the state and operationally committed to an incident by the military chain of command. At the incident site, the CST operates in direct support of civil authorities. In this role, the CST supports the goals and objectives developed by the Incident Commander in the Incident Action Plan. The CST Commander is in a position to provide valuable civil military coordination information to other military response elements. CSTs task-organize according to their capabilities and the adjutant general’s mission and intent. Requests for information (RFIs) from military agencies outside the CST chain of command are directed to the Joint Force Headquarters–State (JFHQ-S) Joint Operations Center (JOC). The advanced echelon (ADVON) normally consists of a small command and control element with a survey and analysis capability, communications and organic transportation. The ADVON conducts linkup operations with appropriate individuals at the Incident Command Post and conducts an initial assessment. The ADVON also conducts reconnaissance and determines the footprint for the main body.
The Analytical Laboratory Suite (ALS) provides advanced technologies with enhanced sensitivity and selectivity in the identification of specific agents and substances through data received and interpretation. The Analytical Laboratory Suite provides a science-based analysis of CBRNE samples to gain and maintain an understanding of the contaminated environment. Standardized procedures are followed to support informed decisions by the local incident commander and state and federal agencies that provide follow-on response to a CBRNE incident. Within the compartments of the ALS, operators have the ability to prepare, extract, analyze and store environmental samples and to document environmental conditions. They may also prepare samples for law enforcement in the event of a criminal or terrorist incident.
Threat Agent characterization conducted through:
- Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectroscopy
- Infrared Spectroscopy
- Polarized Light Microscopy
- Polymerase Chain Reaction
- Electrochemical Luminescence
- Immunoassay Detector Tickets
- High Purity Germanium Gamma Spectroscopy
- Fluorescence Microscopy
The mission of the communications section is to act as a common support communications node at an incident site to maintain interteam and intrateam communications. The communications section conducts a wide variety of tasks at an incident site. The section provides voice, data and video communications through a variety of networks designed to support the Civil Support Team operations and civil and military agencies. The Unified Command Suite (UCS) has the ability to cross-band multiple radio systems to allow uniform communication across multiple agencies. The UCS can also establish and maintain communications within the entire CST footprint and with higher headquarters, other responding elements and reach back Subject Matter Experts. Often, the UCS augments incident command communications as available and within its capabilities. Lastly, the UCS and communications section coordinates with civilian and military agencies for follow-on support.
The Operations section of the Civil Support Team is primarily focused on being a control node for all operational tasks. This includes personnel and logistic tracking. One important part of the Operations section is the Hazard Modeler. The modeler uses a collection of geointelligence pertaining to the event and its location and uses the data stored in the geodatabase generated in the predeployment phase to assist in creating a Common Operating Picture. One of the most important issues is to obtain the geocoordinates of the site. The modeler uses this data to begin generation of plume models for vulnerability analyses and site characterization. Maintenance of updated plume models. The modeler utilizes additional information from the suspected area of contamination, provided by the survey section, to further improve plume models.