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NEWS | Dec. 11, 2019

773rd CST attracts U.S. defense leader; demonstrates unique mission

By Sgt. 1st Class Joy Dulen 7th Mission Support Command

The 773rd Civil Support Team, a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear unit under the 7th Mission Support Command, has an exclusive mission. This CST is the only of its kind in both the U.S. Army Reserve and in the entire European theater of operations.

The deputy assistant secretary of defense for U.S. Chemical and Biological Defense, Dr. Brandi C. Vann, stopped by the 773rd, headquartered on Panzer Kaserne in Kaiserslautern, Germany, to tour stations set up by CBRN Soldiers, who highlighted the equipment capabilities of their unique unit, Dec. 11.

“I thought the best way to highlight our mission was to have the doers, the Soldiers, get in front of the deputy assistant secretary to explain to her and show her how we support this area and the 7th MSC,” said Maj. Ralph Scott, 773rd deputy commander. “She wanted to see this unique CBRN capability that exists in Europe and it worked out well with her asking questions and getting personal with our Soldiers.” 

The 773rd CST represents a significant part of the Army’s CBRN capabilities, said Lt. Col. Eric Samaritoni, 773rd commander. 

“(Dr. Vann’s) visit allowed her to see first-hand what personnel and equipment expertise reside in the 773rd CST to support the joint force, partners, and allies,” he added. 

Army civil support teams were formed in every U.S. state after the September 11th attacks with the distinct mission of having a trained force able to react to a CBRN attack. 

“All other civil support teams belong to the National Guard Bureau and they support their states,” said Scott. “So our mission set is absolutely unique in that we’re already deployed.”

The 773rd CST consists of an all Army Reserve Soldier CBRN reaction force able to support installations throughout the U.S. European Command area of responsibility. 

“We can respond to incidents in garrison,” said Scott.  “So if something should happen on a U.S. installation, we would go and support the first responders, fire fighters and police whenever there’s a possibility of a CBRN incident.”

Scott says the CST is also unique in that it can support two different types of missions. 

“We can flex to do green missions where we get in our humvees and support the military,” he said.  “Or we can also do the white mission, which is in our civilian vehicles and we can provide our defense support to local civil authorities.”

“I could not have asked for a better demonstration from my Soldiers,” said Samaritoni. 

“(They) highlighted to Dr. Vann that all unit Soldiers knew and understood our core mission as a civil support team, but also what we're trying to accomplish in order to better support the European theater.”