Staten Island's Rep. Grimm safeguards funds for weapons of mass destruction security team
The following appeared in the Staten Island Advance:
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Rep. Michael Grimm has secured funding for Brooklyn's 24th National Guard Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team with the passage of the House's 2013 Department of Defense Appropriations Act. The Department of Defense had recommended closing two of the 57 units, one each in New York and Florida.
On May 14, the House passed Grimm's authorization language to keep all 57 teams operating, and yesterday his efforts proved successful to secure the necessary funding to save them from the chopping block.
The WMD unit in Brooklyn has been on the Pentagon budget chopping block, despite its proximity to possible local terrorist targets like the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, the Staten Island Ferry and the New York Container Terminal, as well as Lower Manhattan.
"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," said Grimm (R-Staten Island/Brooklyn) in a prepared statement. "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. This team is crucial to New York's security, and today's vote brings us one step closer to preserving it. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to join the fight to keep this language in any final version of the bill."