Since the devastating attacks of September 11, the American
public has become increasingly concerned with the threat
of biological and chemical attacks: gas masks have become
hot sellers, as have antibiotics rumored to combat anthrax.
military on the other hand has been preparing to combat
biological or chemical threats for close to a decade.
Each service branch has trained Chemical-Biological
teams, for instance the Army's Chem-Bio Rapid Response
Teams (CB-RRT) and the Marine Corps' Chemical and
Biological Incident Response Force (CBIRF), to respond
if the US was ever exposed to these types of weapons.
If an attack occurred and the military was mobilized
in response, these teams could provide tactical support
to the civil authorities, advising them in ways to deal
with the threat. Meanwhile, the National Guard could
deploy one of its 32 Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil
Support Teams (WMD-CST) to liaison with local authorities.
So far, only ten WMD-CST's have been certified, one
of which deployed to New York immediately after the
Sept. 11 attacks.
threat is real, but how likely are we to being exposed
to biological or chemical weapons? And which ones should
we be most worried about?