Rensselaer man to take CST post

Thursday, June 5, 2014
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— Army National Guard Lt. Col. Andrew Pinckney will take command of the New York National Guard’s 2nd Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team next week.

The 2nd CST is a joint Army and Air National Guard unit whose members are trained to identify chemical, biological or radiological agents employed in a terrorist attack or released in an accident.

Pinckney is a Rensselaer resident and veteran of two combat deployments to Afghanistan. He will take over from Lt. Col. Thomas Benton in a change of command ceremony on Monday.

“The 2nd Civil Support Team is a highly specialized National Guard unit that plays a central role in how we respond to both terrorist attacks and dangerous industrial accidents,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in an announcement. “I am proud that Lt. Col. Pinckney — a battle-tested officer with a long history in New York — is taking command of this important unit as he continues to protect the people of our state and nation.”

The 2nd CST, headquartered at Stratton Air National Guard Base in Glenville, is equipped with high-tech detection equipment and the members are trained to operate in a hazardous environment.

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