By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Rep. Michael Grimm said he has secured federal funding to keep an elite anti-terror unit at Fort Hamilton. But he also said the funding is contingent upon the approval of the U.S. Senate.
Grimm had the funding inserted into a Defense Department appropriations bill that was approved by the House of Representatives earlier this week.
“I urge my colleagues in the Senate to join this fight to keep this language in any final version of the bill,” he said.
The funding involves Brooklyn’s 24th National Guard Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team (WMD-CST). The Department of Defense had recommended scrapping two of the 57 CSTs in New York and Florida. The language Grimm had inserted into the bill would secure funding for all 57 units.
“New York City remains the number one terror target in the nation, and we simply cannot afford to make nonsensical and irresponsible cuts to such an essential asset to our security,” Grimm said. “The 24th National Guard Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team located at Fort Hamilton is highly trained to respond to high-risk situations and assist the NYPD, first responders and other agencies in response efforts,” he said.
The unit provides assessment and guidance in the event of an attack involving weapons of mass destruction, an emergency, or a natural disaster. The unit stationed at Fort Hamilton was established in a 2007 in a defense appropriations bill.
U.S. Rep. Bob Turner voted in favor of the defense appropriations bill, saying that it’s important to keep a civil support team at Fort Hamilton, the only active military post in New York City.
“As a New Yorker and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, I know just how important it is that the NYPD and our first responders have all the support they can get in responding to a potential WMD attack or other emergency. The WMD-CST, located right here in Brooklyn at Fort Hamilton, is important to keeping New York safe and secure, and I am not going to stand idly by and watch bureaucrats take this important asset away from our city,” Turner said.
“The most important role of government is keeping its citizens safe. In order to do so, the military must have the funding and support necessary to do its job.”