Table of Contents
:: TAG's Message
:: GWOT Memorial Dedication
:: 50th Brigade Honored
:: CSM Message
:: 108th Passes 6,000-hour Mark / Wing Passes UCI
:: 119th CSB Update
:: Controlled Burn at Warren Grove / A Day in the Life / Airman Top Cop
:: Armor Returns from GTMO
:: HET Back from Iraq
:: News Guard Families Can Use

:: 21st CST Trains
:: Short Rounds
:: Army and Air Enlisted Promotions
:: Last Round
:: Family Assistance Centers & Family Readiness Centers
:: Guardlife Information

Guardlife - Volume 31, No. 2

21st CST Trains at Leonard Wood
Compiled by the Guardlife Staff

A member of the Mississippi Air National Guard guides a member of the CST during the loading of the C-17.  Click to enlargeFor a unit that hopes it will never have to do its job, the members of the New Jersey National Guard’s 21st Civil Support Team (CST) are far from lazy.

That’s because the 22 Army and Air National Guard members have a unique mission: to provide no-cost support to civil authorities at a potential domestic Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and explosive threat.

“We’re a force multiplier, we’re the first line of defense for homeland security on the military side of the house,” said Lt. Col. Jerry Gagnon, Commander, 21st

“We’ll advise, assist, assess and identify what agents are downrange. We have the training to call upon follow-on forces with a reach-back capability from our unified command suite, which is our communication vehicle,” according to Gagnon.

No CST can respond to a threat without first completing a strict validation process. The Fort Dix based unit deployed to Fort Leonard Wood in March to conduct Initial Collective Lanes Diagnostic training, a process that will prepare them for their validation testing in June.

“I want to make sure we give the Governor and the Adjutant General an active unit as soon as we can,” said Gagnon as he supervised the loading of the CST
vehicles onto a Mississippi Air National Guard C-17 cargo plane during the March exercise.

“No other unit has performed an air movement prior to validation,” said Air Force Maj. Jesse Arnstein, Deputy Commander.

One of the unit’s biggest obstacles lay in actually getting to the school. “We had to identify the hazardous materials in order to develop a load plan,” said Sgt. 1st
Class Terrance Taylor, Nuclear Biological and Chemical Recon NCO.

“Everything we’re going to need in the field, we’re going to bring with us,” said Gagnon. “We have an analytical laboratory that we travel with so we can assess
and identify right on site about 90 percent of the chemical and biological warfare agents that are out there in the world.”

“We’ve worked a lot of long hours to achieve this,” noted Taylor. “This takes us one step closer to validation.”

"Most of the Soldiers and Airmen who comprise the unit come from other military occupations," observed Gagnon. “Each member gets between 800 and 1,800 hours of additional training to utilize the equipment [that's being loaded] on this aircraft right now.”

"Now that they’ve completed their training, they’ve got time to put it to good use."


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