Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Teams (WMD-CST): A Necessary Failure
AIR COMMAND AND STAFF COLL MAXWELL AFB AL
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If you believe weapons of mass destruction WMD, chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosives CBRNE, exist and pose a threat to this country and our way of life, this paper will alternately elicit both fear and assurance. The reality of the threat will elicit a fear for yourself your family and your country, while the recognition of this threat by the national security community and the creation of response units like the Army National Guards ARNG Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Teams WMD-CST might give you assurance you are safe. Unfortunately, poor program management, ineffective equipment acquisition and unclear command and control structures have made the current version of the WMD-CST teams ineffective and inspire fear because our nation is at risk. This paper investigates the threat that drove the creation and evolution of the WMD-CST program. It then explores the specific mission of the WMD-CSTs to assess, advise and facilitate a response to a WMD event in the United States. This mission, and the ARNGs unique federal- state status, is critical to coordinating a synergistic statelocal and federal response during and after a WMD event. The paper then focuses on the current program management and organizational problems affecting these teams. The paper concludes by offering suggestions on programmatic, doctrinal and organizational solutions to make these teams an effective part of a coordinated Homeland Security HLS response force. For without these teams to bridge the chasm between statelocal and federal response units to a WMD event, the nations reaction will be inefficient and lives will be lost.
- Chemical, Biological and Radiological Warfare
- Nuclear Warfare