BARRIGADA, Guam – The thick air inside a musty shipping container feels well over 100 degrees in the midday Guam heat. Still, a team of three 94th Civil Support Team members from the Guam National Guard are in full HAZMAT suits, working away as cool as cucumbers.This is a training exercise designed to hone the CST skills in identifying hazardous materials under adverse conditions. In this case, the Soldiers and Airmen are discovering a “clandestine laboratory” with “biological cultures.” The laboratory and materials are simulated.Entering the room, shrill alarms of their sensing equipment signal the presence of dangerous substances, and they radio the news to the command post.“Instead of giving in to constraints we face with COVID-19, we’re taking the opportunity to train even more realistically,” said Maj. Victor Balajadia, CST commander. “We never know what we might face in this uncertain future, so we have to find ways to maintain our state of readiness. We have to be creative.”Civil Support Teams like Guam’s are assigned to each state in the National Guard.According to Sgt. 1st Class Ivan Castro, a noncommissioned officer in charge for the 94th CST’s reconnaissance team, “CSTs are an asset to civil authorities. We’re a great force multiplier for any agency, from the Guam Guard to the Guam Fire Department, Guam Police Department, or any other entities out there that need our assistance.”When asked about how COVID-19 has hampered training, Castro replied, “I’m pretty sure COVID has given everybody issues, but we try to go beyond that. We still stay within (Public Health) guidelines, and make things happen.”For more National Guard newsNational Guard FacebookNational Guard TwitterHow the National Guard is helpingPhotos of the National Guard responseLatest from the CDC