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Global Security Newswire

Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues

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New York Lawmaker Lashes Proposed Elimination of WMD Response Team

A lawmaker from New York on Monday lashed the Defense Department's proposal to dissolve a specialized National Guard team that would assist local authorities in the response to a WMD incident (see GSN, Dec. 1, 2010).

The Pentagon's budget for fiscal 2013 calls for eliminating the 24th National Guard Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team, based at Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn, along with a corresponding outfit in Florida, according to Representative Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.).

"At a time when New York City remains the number one terror target in the nation, it is completely nonsensical to cut such an essential asset to our safety and security. The 24th National Guard Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team (WMD-CST) located at Fort Hamilton plays a crucial role in assisting our NYPD, first responders, and other agencies in the event high-risk situations," Grimm said in a press release. "Shutting down NYC’s only CST would be a tremendous loss and could leave our city more vulnerable to attack. That is why I am fighting in Congress to ensure that it remains open."

Grimm and other lawmakers are working to ensure the National Defense Authorization Act for the budget year that begins on Oct. 1 supports the continued operation of the team, the release states.

As of late 2011, the United States had 57 WMD CST teams (see GSN, Nov. 10, 2011; U.S. Representative Michael Grimm release, May 14).

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