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Pentagon Certifies Second Florida WMD Response Team

The U.S. Defense Department has certified Florida's second National Guard Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team, the state's National Guard announced on Wednesday (see GSN, Dec. 1).

The 48th WMD-CST, stationed at Clearwater, Fla., has been trained and equipped to assist local emergency responders in responding to an attack involving a weapon of mass destruction, the Florida National Guard said in a press release.

“In this current operating environment, it is imperative that we maintain a high level of readiness to respond to domestic threats, as well as those overseas,” said Maj. Gen. Emmett Titshaw, the Adjutant General of Florida, said in the statement. “This Civil Support Team will complement our existing capabilities and leave us better prepared and equipped to protect and support our state, if needed.”

Organization of the Florida team started in April 2008. Personnel preparations and vetting for compliance with Pentagon standards took place over more than 12 months. The process also involved the procurement of apparatus and recruitment of staff.

With the new unit, there are now 57 Pentagon-certified Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Teams in the United States. (Florida National Guard release, Nov. 9).

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