National Guard Civil Support Teams Adopt ATAK

The National Guard’s Civil Support Teams have adopted ATAK for use in their missions, which according to Wikipedia is approximately counter WMD.

The article discusses their need to collaborate with organizations across the civil government,

including the FBI, Border Patrol (DHS) and many other agencies.  Here’s what the article said:

The team also tested their communications vigorously, using the Mobile Field Kit and Android Tactical Awareness Kit (MFK/ATAK) to share data remotely. The 9th CST and Massachusetts’ 1st CST pioneered the use of the MFK/ATAK package, researching the technology and partnering with the Defense Thre

at Reduction Agency to bring it to reality.

“Without the MFK, a survey team member would need to gather their readings, get out of the hot zone and go through the decontamination process before we could begin analyzing the data,” Hanson said. “With the MFK, sensor readings, radiation spectra and pictures can be sent to the command post in real time, allowing the science team to analyze information and provide assessments before the entry team even gets out of the hot zone.”

Based on the 9th and 1st CSTs’ research and successful tests of the MFK/ATAK package, it soon will become a standard part of all CSTs’ equipment.

Hanson said every 9th CST exercise stretches the team’s technological capabilities to evaluate their performance in disparate environments.

“We don’t set ourselves up for failure, but we design each exercise to test every piece of equipment we have to the limits,” he said. “We’ve got to know what’s feasible and what’s not.”

Unified effort

When disaster strikes, the strength of all our responding agencies may be needed, and they’ll need to work seamlessly to minimize damage. The 9th CST covers roughly half of California

(with the Cal Guard’s 95th CST managing the northern half), requiring coordination with agencies all over the map.

“We are here to augment and support them when they need us — not to supplant, but to support,” Hanson said. “Becoming good partners with police and fire, FBI, the Department of Energy, Border Patrol, and all the other agencies, sometimes comes down to figuring out ways to get integrated with them and make sure they realize we can be a tremendous asset for them as needed. That’s why we exist.”

Hanson said the CST’s integration with agencies in Southern California improves every year. The San Diego maritime exercise, for example, showed a “true unified effort” between the various responding agencies.

“This is an important step toward us becoming a comfortable piece in their regional operations,” Hanson said. “The Harbor Police understands how quickly resources would get eaten up in a real-world scenario like this, and we are a strong partner with some great capabilities.”

Here’s what the CST’s mission iswhich according to Wikipedia, is:

The certified WMD-CSTs provide unique capabilities, expertise, and technologies to assist the governors in preparing for and responding to a CBRN situation. These WMD-CSTs are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for rapid deployment for response operations. The WMD-CST complements and enhances local and State capabilities. In order to ensure that the WMD-CSTs are capable of a sustainable, rapid response in support of a validated request for assistance, the following response management plan outlines a standardized approach to provide WMD-CST support anywhere in the United States.

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