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7th WMD Civil Support Team

The 7th Civil Support Team (Weapons of Mass Destruction), also known as 7th CST, is a federally-funded Missouri National Guard unit stationed at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.

The 7th CST was one of the first 10 full-time CST units in the nation that entered service in 1999, 17 additional teams were activated in late 2000 and an additional five where announced to be activated in 2002. The 7th CST was officially certified for deployment by the Department of Defense on August 14, 2001. Originally designated "RAID" for Rapid Assessment and Initial Detection, the teams were renamed to emphasize their supporting role to civil authorities.

The Missouri National Guard stepped into a new role of combating weapons of mass destruction with the formation of the new 7th Military Support Detachment (MSD) Rapid Assessment and Initial Detection Element (RAID). This new 22-person unit, stationed at Fort Leonard Wood, is trained to respond to domestic incidents involving use of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), particulary those involving the use of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.

The unit consists of full-time National Guard positions that, upon completion of training and operation certification, will be on 24-hour availability with the ability to be depolyed within four hours of the incident. The MSD (RAID) had three teams in addition to the command staff, the teams included: operations, nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) survey and medical assets. All soldiers assigned to the MSD (RAID) participated in intensive training over the next year, with the end goal of being fully certified as a team in January 2000.

The mission of the MSD (RAID) was to deploy to an area of operation in support of the local incident commander to: ASSESS a suspected chemical, biological or nuclear event; to ADVISE civilian responders regarding appropriate actions; and FACILITATE requests for assistance to expedite arrival of additional state and federal assets to help save lives, prevent human suffering, and mitigate great property damage.

The 7th MSD (RAID) was one of ten units initially being formed nationwide. The stationing of these units is based on Department of Defense criteria and is in concert with the ten Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) regions. Factors considered in making the decision were: demographics, threat assessment, location of high value targets, military airlift capability and the availability of other federal response assets. Based on these criteria and factors Missouri was selected. Other states selected are California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Massachussetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington. The 7th MSD (RAID) is positioned to provide initial response for Missouri, Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska.

The concept of the Weapons of Mass destruction response teams was based on a recommendation from the Secretary of Defense in 1997. Concern over the incidents such as the World Trade Center and Oklahoma City bombings and additional treats of domestic terorism, sparked the interest in development of the MSD (RAID) teams. Congress subsequently funded a conceptual study and based on the results included funding in the 1999 Defense Budget for the formation of the teams.



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