Elite Florida National Guard Team Training In Cocoa Beach

By  //  September 11, 2012

WMD Event Preparedness

BREVARD COUNTY • COCOA BEACH, FLORIDA – If you think you’re seeing a lot more green uniforms than usual in Cocoa Beach this week, your eyes are not deceiving you.

Sgt. Matt Mitchell of the Florida National Guard's 48th Civil Support Team prepares equipment to take chemical samples during a weapons of mass destruction evaluation. (Image courtesy 44th Civil Support Team)

Florida National Guard’s 44th Civil Support Team-Weapons of Mass Destruction from the Camp Blanding Joint Training Center in Starke is conducting training and capability orientation with local and state Emergency Response partners all week in Cocoa Beach.

Fresh from supporting the Republican National Convention in Tampa, the 44th Civil Support Team will train with a number of local response agencies including the NASA Protective Services Office, Department of Health Environmental Health Strike Team, Patrick Air Force Base Readiness and Emergency Management, Brevard County Emergency Management, Holmes Regional Medical Center, Brevard County Fire Rescue and Cape Canaveral Air Force Emergency Management.

Relationships forged during these training opportunities are the exact ones that these collective teams will depend on should a weapons of mass destruction event occur in Florida.

This training event will focus on techniques, tactics and procedures conducted during a WMD event, but will also provide opportunity for these various teams to exchange best practices, understand strengths and capability gaps and overlaps. Most importantly, the training will plant seeds for long-lasting relationships.

The 44th Civil Support Team is a 22-person full-time National Guard unit made up of both Army and Air Guard personnel.

The team remains postured to support local, state and federal partners in the state, FEMA region and nationally.

Its mission is to identify unknown hazards, assess their effects, advise on protective measures and assist in the request for follow on forces. Its mantra is “always ready.”