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VING Civil Support Team to Conduct Training Thursday at St. Croix WAPA-Media Invitation

(Wednesday, July 11, 2012)


VING Civil Support Team Conducts Training Thursday at St. Croix WAPA
The Virgin Islands National Guard 23rd Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team (WMD-CST) will conduct its lanes training on Thursday July 12 on St. Croix. The Situational Training Exercise (STX) at the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority’s (VIWAPA) Richmond Plant will evaluate the team’s response preparedness for incidents of mass destruction involving chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear agents. National Guard personnel, equipment, and vehicles will be utilized in this training. The community is asked not to be alarmed as this is just a TRAINING EXERCISE.
National Guard Civil Support Teams receive more than 600 hours of high-tech training by various agencies such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Departments of Energy and Justice, and the Environmental Protection Agency. The CST will be evaluated by a team of approximately 10 facilitators from U.S. Army North, an Army Service Component Command (ASCC) of the U.S. Army responsible for homeland defense and support of civil authorities.

The Virgin Islands’ 23rd Civil Support Team is a 22-man unit whose mission is to support local and state authorities at domestic Weapons of Mass Destruction/Nuclear Biological Chemical (WMD/NBC) incident sites by identifying agents and substances, assessing consequences, advising on response measures, and assisting with requests for additional military support.

In emphasizing the importance of joining with VIWAPA for this exercise, Virgin Islands Adjutant General MG Renaldo Rivera said that “Partnerships are important to both our training and response capabilities. We must rely on resources within and outside of the territory to maintain and improve our unit's competencies. The Water and Power Authority is one of those partners." WAPA Executive Director Hugo V. Hodge, Jr. confirmed the benefits of this training for the Authority. “This is an excellent opportunity to augment our planning and emergency response strategies in the event that we are faced with an incident of mass destruction,” he said. “It is critical that we protect our power and water supplies during all hazardous events, so we look forward to working with the National Guard on this and future emergency response exercises,” said Hodge.


For more information on the National Guard Civil Support Team, visit http://www.ng.mil/features/HomelandDefense/cst/CST_Fact_Sheet.pdf
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For information on the VING, contact Master Sergeant Karen Williams, State Public Affairs Officer, at 340-332-5541 or email: karen.williams1@us.army.mil . For more information about the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority, visit www.viwapa.vi or contact Cassandra Dunn, Corporate Communications Director, at cdunn@viwapa.vi, or 340-773-2250.