Members of the 33rd Civil Support Team (CST) and other National Guard assets were at the ready to keep the nation’s capital safe during the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit held this week in Washington D.C.
The Summit is an important gathering of global leaders, including the President of the United States, to discuss cooperative threat reduction strategies and methods designed to secure nuclear materials and prevent the smuggling of nuclear materials.
For this mission, the 33rd CST provided support several agencies throughout the Capitol region, including the Columbia Fire and Emergency Services, the Secret Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department, said 1st Lt. Keith Hapenney, operations officer for the 33rd CST.
The visiting organizations include National Guard units from West Virginia, New Hampshire, Tennessee, Delaware, Montana, New Jersey, Kansas, Kentucky and Southern California.
Hapenney said the 33rd CST brings a wealth knowledge and experience for emergency response readiness. “With the advancement and growth of the Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear Explosive (CBRNE) and Response Enterprise (CRE) element, the 33rd CST continues to be at the forefront, the tip of the spear,” he said. “We are sought out by our interagency partners because of the knowledge that we have about CBRNE and Weapons of Mass Destruction, and the equipment that supports that knowledge.”
Specific to this standby mission is the use of a contingent group of personnel slated to work with the Department of Energy, according to Hapenney.
The team includes 18 members who will participate in Radiation Nuclear Search Operations and Preventative Radiological Nuclear Detection.
The 33rd CST’s non-commissioned officer in charge, 1st Sgt. Justin Barrick, said his team will be on standby during the Summit.
“We will have two Rapid Detection Teams (RDTs), there will one down range in the hot zone and another on the outside of the center,” he said.
Barrick said his RDTs will be ready to respond to any abnormal activity, such as an unattended package left near convention center, during the Summit.