At the request of the Massachusetts National Guard the New York National Guard dispatched members of the 24th Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support (CST) Team, based at Fort Hamilton Brooklyn, to Boston to assist the Mass. National Guard's 1st CST. A CST is a team of 24 Soldiers and Airmen trained to identify potential chemical, biological, and radiological, agents in support of local police and emergency officials. At any large event it is routine to have National Guard CST members --each state has at least one CST-- on site to provide specialized assistance if required. New York currently has two CSTs, the 2nd CST based in Scotia, NY near Schenectady and the 24th CST in Brooklyn.
It is not unusual for one states National Guard to request assistance from another through Emergency Management Assistance Compacts which are in place across the country.
Both the 24th CST and 2nd CST are paid for with federal tax dollars and so while they are based in New York and part of the New York National Guard they can be dispatched anyplace to assist other states.
New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs
National Guard's civil support teams respond to crisis nation-wide
The Massachusetts team was on duty during the running of the Boston marathon, augmented by similar civil support teams from the New York and Rhode Island National Guards.
National Guard civil support teams work with local authorities and provide additional support during times of emergency or use of suspected weapons of mass destruction. The teams have capabilities to identify chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear agents and substances, assess current and projected consequences and advise on response measures.
CST WMD troops on duty at Boston Marathon at the time of the explosion:
Massachusetts Army NG: Unknown
Rhode Island Army NG: 2 (source: Commander Meriwether)
New York Army NG: 5 (source: Staten Island Advance)
Meriwether’s unit, which she says wears a uniform consisting of navy blue shirts, black vests and khaki pants, were not at the crowded finish line throughout the race.
But moments after two explosions rocked Boylston Street, her unit tried to move in to detect any possible chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or high-yield explosive (CBRNE) incident by identifying CBRNE agents/substances like those used in dirty bombs.
(Note: It is entirely possible that in the initial confusion, the CST personnel were not immediately recognized as they were not in a traditional uniform, however, they were quickly recognized and part of the first responders to the blast site providing essential aid and assistance.)
CSTs are federally funded National Guard units established under Presidential Decision Directive 39. There are 57 full-time teams: one in every U.S. state, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and the US Virgin Islands, and an additional team each in California, Florida and New York.”
Thank you for all the links.
These people are public servants and I don't think it's too much to ask to identify them.
You expect there to be some mechanism in place for you to personally be able to identify every state or federal employee who appears in every photo taken at the Boston Marathon?
I don't think they have any reason NOT to give out that information, except for it being a waste of time and resources.
Thankfully, that mechanism is already in place not just for me, but for you too.
Every state agency has a Public Information Officer whose job is to make information available to anyone who asks for it. It's part of the Sunshine Law.
Any organization that receives any portion of their budget in public funding is required to comply with the sunshine laws. Their meetings have to be announced to the public and anyone can attend. Private organizations are reluctant to accept federal grants for that reason.