Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Oregon's Civil Support Team a great resource for local authorities

Above: Members of the Oregon National Guard's 102 Civil Support Team consult with personnel from the Polk County Sheriff's Department, Salem Fire and Salem Police Departments in a West Salem neighborhood on Feb. 22, after investigators found evidence of bomb-making materials in a residence there. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nick Choy, Oregon National Guard Public Affairs Office).

When something goes "boom" in the middle of the night, chances are the local police will receive a phone call.

And more than likely, the Oregon National Guard's 102 Civil Support Team may be requested to assist them.

Such was the case yesterday afternoon, when Polk County Sheriffs responded to a disturbance in a West Salem neighborhood involving a 19-year old who was found to have bomb-making materials in his parents' home.

Members of the 102 CST worked into the late evening, assisting Salem Police Bomb Squad and Polk County Sheriffs in rendering the home safe, and removed all the suspected materials. To read the Salem News story on this incident, go here.

In light of all the media attention focused on the incident, questions about what the CST does came up this morning. I thought it was a great opportunity to highlight exactly what it is our Civil Support Team does here in Oregon.

The 102 CST supports local, state and federal civil authorities in the event of an incident involving weapons of mass destruction or significant loss of life or property. In the case of yesterday's incident, luckily the only significant loss was a tree in the 19-year old's back yard--which he blew up the night before he was arrested. However, the potential for catastrophic loss or damage is always great when dealing with explosives.

The mission of the CST is to support civil authorities during domestic incidents involving chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear materials. The highly-trained individuals in our CST help identify agents and substances, assess current and projected concequences, and advise civil authorities on appropriate response measures.

Oregon's CST consists of 22 full-time active Guard personnel, who are members of both the Oregon Air National Guard and Oregon Army National Guard. They are alinged directly under the control of Oregon's Governor. They provide command, operations, administrative, logistics, medical and communications skillsets to civilian authorities when they are deployed to any location.

The key phrase here is support. That was quite evident yesterday in West Salem, where members of Oregon's CST worked seamlessly with members of the Polk County Sheriff's Department and the Salem Police Department to render safe what could have potentially turned into a life-threatening situation.
The Oregon National Guard's 102 Civil Support Team--Always Ready, Always There!
To view the rest of the photos from this incident, visit our Flickr page here.

Posted by Tech. Sgt. Nick Choy,
Oregon National Guard Social Media Manager

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