STEM, N.C. -- Soldiers and Airmen from the 42nd Civil Support Team (CST) conducted training at the North Carolina National Guard's, Camp Butner Training Facility as part of a U.S. Army North validation training exercise here on Dec. 07, 2017.

The 42nd CST is one of 57 teams across the states and territories that deploy rapidly to respond to incidents where weapons of mass destruction have been used. These teams provide expert advice to state and federal agencies as well as follow up support after an incident.

Every 18 months the 42nd CST is required to be validated on core tasks, such as the decontamination process, identifying threats and materials, and coordinating with civilian authorities in a realistic setting. This validation proves that the 42nd CST is ready to respond to a chemical, radiological or biological event.

"This is a multi-day event," said James Barkley, a department of the army civilian and the southeast division chief with Army North. "The CST is evaluated on 12 key tasks, my staff and I create a summary of their performance and that gives leadership the assurance that this team is ready to respond when called," said Barkley

Members of the 42nd CST utilized the entire inventory of equipment, from command and communication trucks, decontamination station and the mobile lab. "We are capable of analyzing DNA, identifying chemicals and triaging samples from the field teams," said Capt. Barry Stern, the medical science officer who runs the mobile lab.

The training involved coordination with the Butner Police and Fire department as well as local Emergency Medical Services. The 145th Fire and Emergency Services also provided a fire engine as a water source for the decontamination station. The training and evaluation helps build confidence in the abilities of all the participants, should the 42nd CST's services be called upon.