By Maj. Brooke Davis
District of Columbia National Guard Public Affairs
In addition to supporting the Marine Corps Marathon, the District of Columbia National Guard’s 33rd Civil Support Team provided District officials support during the historic 2019 Major League Baseball World Series games at the National’s Stadium Oct. 25-27.
With augmentation from Kentucky and Maryland’s CST teams, the 33rd CST worked around the clock with civil authorities to enhance response capabilities through their communications, survey, technical decontamination and analytical functions.
Networking played a huge role in supporting multiple, large events in the District, said Lt. Col. Ryan Walsh, 33rd CTS commander.
“It was a tremendous opportunity to relationship-build with other CST teams,” said Walsh. “We work to develop close relationships so that on a moment’s notice, we’re able to support each other.”
For the second time, the DCNG supported the D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department by providing them with the 33rd's Command Post, which includes a Tactical Operations Center and Unified Command Suite.
“This essentially allowed the city to double the amount of mobile operations and EMS capabilities,” explained Walsh. “This is the second time we’ve provided Command Post capability to them, and it’s important for us to be able to help local jurisdiction with command and control and give them an additional platform to provide emergency services.”
District emergency responders are familiar with supporting large events, and the DCNG’s CST handles some of the most highly visible missions in the country. CST members provided enhanced capability to the Joint All Hazards Assessment Team, which is embedded with the FBI and D.C. Fire Department.
“It’s definitely an attribute that goes with our team and the nation-wide CST community to provide the capabilities we were able to provide,” said Sergeant First Class Michael Boettger, 33rd CST first sergeant. “We provide CBRNE response to mitigate any suspicious activity and we’re able to analyze pretty much any kind of hazardous material that man has created.”
Members of the CST provide continuity and experience supporting local officials.
“We have a lot of muscle memory,” Walsh said. “We supported the 2018 Major League Baseball All-Star Game and there is a lot of planning that goes into supporting these events. So, we have a great working relationship with the fire department and our counterparts from other federal agencies.”
For the first time ever, the 44th annual Marine Corps Marathon was a 50-mile ultra-marathon, and required additional coordination to support runners from all 50 states and more than 60 countries.
“Parts of the marathon were located in Virginia, so we had to make sure to communicate with their emergency responders,” said Walsh.
The Marine Corps Marathon weekend consists of multiple running events to include the Kids Run, 10k, the 26.2 mile stretch also known as “The Peoples Marathon" and 50k.
From Presidential event support to champion sports team match-ups, the CST will continue to enhance local emergency responder capabilities in the District of Columbia. Known as the nation’s Capital Guardians, members of the DCNG live and work in the National Capital Region too, and are committed to ensuring the safety of our community.