Leaders from the Virginia National Guard as well as from the town of Blackstone and Nottoway County were on hand for the dedication of the new home of the 34th Civil Support Team. Taking part in the ribbon cutting ceremony from left to right: Larry Palmore, Blackstone Town Manager; Clarence Simpson, Chairman of the Nottoway County Board of Supervisors, Lt. Col. Colleen Chiper, Commander of the 34th CST; Maj. Gen. Claude Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia; Tommy Wright, State Delegate for the 61st District; Brig. Gen. John Dornan, Deputy Adjutant General for Air; and Jerry Wilson, President of the Blackstone Town Council. (Photo by Maj. Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs Office)
By Maj. Cotton Puryear
Army Guard Public Affairs Officer
Leaders from the Virginia National Guard as well as leaders from the City of Blackstone and Nottoway County gathered on Oct. 1 to dedicate a new facility for the Virginia National Guard’s 34th Civil Support Team.
Built at a cost of $1.5 million using 100 percent Federal funds, the 11,163 square foot building includes: vehicle bay, supply room, survey team facilities, mechanical and telecommunication rooms, administrative area, classrooms, operations and medical offices.
The 34th CST is a high-priority response unit supporting civil authorities in responding to a weapons of mass destruction (WMD) situation. The unit is jointly staffed with Army and Air National Guard personnel, and encompasses 14 military occupational skills. The unit is Federally resourced, trained, equipped, and sustained, with the State National Guard providing the personnel, stationing, and common support.
Congress has authorized 32 CSTs and the first 10 teams authorized for fiscal 1999. Seventeen additional teams were authorized in fiscal 2000, and five more teams were authorized in fiscal 2001. Three of these latest teams were certified as operational on Feb. 5, 2003.