News: Arizona National Guard Civil Support Team exercises with Yavapai Fire District
Story by Sgt. Edward Balaban
PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. – The Arizona Army National Guard’s 91st Civil Support Team responded to a call from the Central Yavapai Fire District on Aug. 9 as part of a joint exercise involving hazardous materials.
The mission of a Civil Support Team is to support civil authorities at a domestic chemical, biological, nuclear, radiological, or explosive incident site with identification and assessment of hazards, advice to civil authorities, and facilitating the arrival of follow-on military forces during emergencies and natural or man-made disasters in the United States which could result in catastrophic loss of life or property. These units, which are located in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, complement and enhance, but do not duplicate, State response capabilities.
Steve Maslausky, HAZMAT team adviser for the Prescott area, planned a scenario involving domestic terrorism. Maslausky said “I need to maximize training so that my folks have an idea of the assets available.”
Maslausky said the scenario was chosen to challenge the Yavapai Fire District responders to initiate the call to the civil support team. “The more realism, the better our people will respond,” said Maslausky.
Army Lt. Col. Russell Payne, commander of 91st CST, based in Phoenix, welcomed the opportunity to work with Yavapai Fire District.
Payne said “while our primary response area is the whole state, we look forward to coming here to augment the HAZMAT technicians in their efforts and share a worthwhile training opportunity.”
In 2009, the CST was invited to observe the exercise. This year, the exercise was planned to involve them. Maslausky and Payne said they were looking forward to conducting a joint or combined exercise every year beginning in 2011.
This work, Arizona National Guard Civil Support Team exercises with Yavapai Fire District , by SGT Edward Balaban, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.