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    New York National Guard Civil Support Team hones skills at fire training center

    New York National Guard Civil Support Team trains at Fire Training Center

    Photo By Sgt. Maj. Corine Lombardo | New York Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Joshua Spagnola tests a potential hazardous...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Maj. Corine Lombardo 

    New York National Guard

    LATHAM, N.Y.- A neighbor had noticed a lot of strange guys in their thirties going in and out of the house next door along with suspicious looking drums of stuff. So he called the police.

    When the local cops showed up they looked through a window. They saw what looked like a chemical lab. In fact, it looked like a weapons lab of some kind. They called the New York State Police.

    The New York State Police in turn, reached out to the New York National Guard and the 2nd Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team (CST) for help in investigating the location.

    That was the scenario facing the two dozen members of the 2nd CST on Tuesday, Oct. 20, at the Town of Colonie Fire Training Center here.

    The 2nd CST’s Soldiers and Airmen are trained to rapidly detect and identify chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) hazards and let local law enforcement and emergency responders know what they are facing.

    The team, based at Stratton Air National Guard Base in Scotia, N.Y. trains constantly for their mission, said New York Army National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Frank McCann, the 2nd CST’s training evaluator.

    "The Fire (Training) Center is set up with a residential home environment, so it's a great opportunity for our team to practice search techniques and gain a different perspective than our normal training," McCann explained.

    Normally the team trains in office or industrial complexes, he said.

    The exercise brought together all the different specialty functions and skills of the CST, from hazard detection and identification to hazardous material decontamination and medical recovery and treatment of team members, explained New York Army National Guard Lt. Col. Andrew Pinckney, the 2nd CST commander.

    Four of the CST members suited up in hazardous materials equipment while the other Soldiers and Airmen provided support.

    McCann salted the property with chemical, radiological and biological simulants before the drill so that that the team inside the house had to look for the full spectrum of materials.

    "We have all aspects of CBRN in play, so this training keeps us up to date on search and identification skills in all areas," McCann explained.

    The 2nd CST routinely sends teams to be available to civil authorities and first responders during major events which could be a potential target for attack, such as the NASCAR races at Watkins Glen, the U.S. Open tennis tournament, the opening of the United Nations General Assembly or significant Major League Baseball or National Basketball Association games.

    Members of the 2nd CST were among the first to respond to the site of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001 following the terrorist attacks there to monitor for potential hazardous materials.

    The 2nd CST is one of two Civil Support Teams manned by full-time members of the New York National Guard. The team is prepared to deploy throughout upstate New York or the northeast as required.

    The New York National Guard also maintains the 24th CST which is based at Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn and focuses on operations in the New York City metropolitan area.



    Date Taken: 10.20.2015
    Date Posted: 10.21.2015 12:45
    Story ID: 179508
    Location: LATHAM, NY, US 
    Hometown: COLONIE, NY, US

    Web Views: 133
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