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

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Pentagon IG Wants More Oversight of Guard WMD Response Teams

The U.S. Defense Department's inspector general in a report issued last month said it believes there should be tighter management of the National Guard's Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Teams (see GSN, May 18).

"We determined that the four Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Teams (WMD CSTs) reviewed had plans in place to respond to chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or high-yield explosives and natural or man-made disasters," states a letter attached to the IG report.

The letter by Pentagon Assistant Inspector General Alice Carey notes the National Guard Bureau, however, lacked "situational awareness" of the units' readiness to rapidly meet their mandate of supporting civilian authorities in the aftermath of a WMD strike or natural catastrophe.

The four National Guard teams "reviewed did not fully meet the reporting requirements to keep the National Guard Bureau aware of their movements and operations. Specifically, the WMD CSTs did not provide required termination, situation and after action reports, and complete information for after action reports," according to the report.
The inspector general recommended the National Guard Bureau's head of Domestic Operations and Force Development work with officials from each Joint Force Headquarters-State to make certain all Guard WMD response units are meeting their reporting mandates.
There are 57 WMD Civil Support Teams deployed in each state, along with Washington, D.C. and three U.S. territories. The Pentagon IG review involved teams in California, Indiana and New York (U.S. Defense Department report, July 2).

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