NEWS | Feb. 16, 2023

Utah National Guard’s CST and EOD teams to support NBA All-Star Events

By Maj. Chris Kroeber 85th Civil Support Team

The Utah National Guard’s 85th Weapons of Mass Destruction – Civil Support Team will be supporting law enforcement and other public safety agencies during the 72nd NBA All-Star weekend in Salt Lake City, Utah, Feb. 17-19, 2023. 

The CST is tasked with integrating experts in chemical, biological and radiological hazards with public safety teams to ensure multiple venues hosting activities throughout the city remain safe.  The 85th CST is always poised to respond and assist partner agencies with acts of terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, or any hazardous materials incidents that poses a threat to the public. This weekend the 85th will be supporting the Salt Lake City Police Department Bomb Squad and Salt Lake County Emergency Management.

“This mission will be a little challenging in that this is a jam-packed schedule involving multiple venues, so our teams have to work quickly while remaining vigilant,” said Lt. Col. Rob Dent, commander of the 85th CST.  “Fortunately, we saw a very similar mission during Super Bowl LVII in Phoenix last week so we’re well prepared and rehearsed for this weekend.”     

The Utah Air National Guard’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team is also supporting local authorities this weekend.

“I am proud to say that our team is constantly engaged with the community, not only to neutralize explosive threats but also to protect and serve the public,” said Lt. Col. Travis R. Johnson, commander 151st Civil Engineering Squadron. “Through our community engagement efforts, and by sharing our expertise and working collaboratively with community partners, we can create a safer and more secure environment for everyone.”

The Utah National Guard is a premier, community-based force comprised of relevant and trained citizen-Soldiers and Airmen who are ready to support contingency operations within the state and throughout the world.

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