The 92nd (WMD) Civil Support Team is a key element of the Department of Defense's overall program to provide support to civil authorities in the event of an incident involving weapons of mass destruction in the United States.
The general mission of the Civil Support Team is to support civil authorities at a domestic Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and high yield explosive (CBRNE) or a natural / man made disaster incident site by:
- Identifying CBRN agents/ substances
- Assessing current and projected consequences
- Advising on response measures
- Assisting with appropriate requests for additional state/federal support.
- This includes the intentional or unintentional release of nuclear, biological, radiological, or toxic or poisonous chemical materials that results, or could result, in catastrophic loss of life or property.
The Civil Support Team (WMD) is able to rapidly deploy (on Alert 24/7), assist local first-responders in determining the nature of a Weapons of Mass
Destruction (WMD) or CBRNE incident, provide medical and technical advice, and pave the way for the identification and arrival of follow-on state and federal military response assets. The CST provides initial advice on what the agent may be, assists first responders in the detection and assessment process, and are the first military responders on the ground, so that if additional state/federal resources are called into the situation, they can assist with coordination. They are a key element of the Department of Defense's overall program to provide support to civil authorities in the event of an incident involving weapons of mass destruction in the United States. In addition to providing robust WMD/CBRNE support the CST is able to assist Incident Commanders with all hazard responses to any natural or manmade disaster.
The CST is staffed with 22 full-time service members from both the Air and Army National Guard. Members are assigned according to specialty to one of six primary functional areas: command, operations, communications, administration/logistics, medical and survey/entry.
The first CST element to arrive on any scene is the Initial Response Team (IRT). The IRT will conduct scene assessment, request additional CST assets as required, confirm contamination is not present within the staging area, command post and cold zone areas. In addition, the IRT can perform limited entry operations and sampling operations. The second element, if required, is the main body. This will consist of additional entry personnel, decontamination, communications, operations, mobile field lab and medical personnel. This force is tailored to meet the needs of the incident or the request from the Incident Commander. The CST deploys to incident locations by the most expeditious means possible. The team is equipped to transport its assets by ground, helicopter (limited) and fixed wing air platforms.
The Civil Support Team supports local Incident Commanders and local emergency responders.
It does not replace functions carried out under the Incident Command System or the emergency first responder community. The CST supports local emergency responders (Fire, Police and EMS), as well as State and Federal agencies such as the FBI, EPA and DHS. The Incident Commander will request CST support through the Department of Emergency Services.
The CST coordinates regularly with emergency first responders as part of its training to ensure that, when called upon, the team is fully integrated into the National Incident Management System (NIMS). Members of the CST are also available to consult with communities and businesses regarding their emergency preparedness planning.
The CST arrives on scene prepared to provide the Incident Commander with comprehensive expertise and capability in WMD response. The CST works extensively with Nevada’s first responders, State and Federal Agencies to ensure a seamless integration during exercises and real world events.
Personnel are highly trained by the Department of Defense in weapons of mass destruction and several all hazard skill sets. All personnel are also certified as hazardous materials technicians (HAZMAT TECHs) in accordance with International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC) requirements. Team members receive more than 600-1800 hours of high-tech training by FEMA, DHS, EPA, DOE
Hazard Prediction Assessment calculates the dispersion of hazardous chemical, biological and radioactive materials. Hazard models and analysis that take into account terrain and weather are created to illustrate hazard prediction, lethal effects based on dosage, and to make recommendations for exclusion zone refinement, sheltering, and/or evacuation procedures.
Medical personnel are well-versed in the effects of chemical, biological and radioactive agents to provide timely treatment information. A mobile Analytical Laboratory System and the team’s Medical Science Officer provide on-scene ability to process and analyze samples for rapid identification of chemical and biological agents.
The Unified Command Suite, a state-of-the-art communications system, provides secure and non-secure communications. The system uses Internet, e-mail, voice and fax in all terrain and weather to allow instantaneous access to technical resources, organizations and personnel. The newly integrated ACU 1000 provides interoperability to allow emergency first responders to communicate regardless of frequency or radio type. The CST can provide expert advice to the on-scene commander via its Electronic Reach back capabilities. Reach back allows the CST and the Incident Commander to consult with civilian experts in science and medicine at the national level.
Self-sustained technical decontamination can be established in less than 30 minutes to effectively decontaminate entry team members and samples.
How is the CST called to action?
The Adjutant General employs the CST to support the state response either under the direction of Governor Sandoval or to support another state’s response under its supported governor. CST assistance should be requested through the Nevada Department of Emergency Management Duty Officer.