A University of Southern Mississippi alumnus serving as deputy commander for the Mississippi Army National Guard’s 47th Civil Support Team (CST) returned to his alma mater this week, where the unit conducted special training exercises on its Hattiesburg campus.
Major Ronald Green of Jackson, who graduated from the university with undergraduate degrees in accounting and biological sciences in 1997 and 2000, respectively, joined his team as they conducted special training exercises at Wilber (Panhellenic) Hall.
The 47th Civil Support Team provides support to incident commanders and their units for such situations, which can also include responses to suspicious packages, bomb threats or terror attacks involving hazardous materials. They work with local, state and federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Homeland Defense and CIA and Secret Service, among others.
“We respond to domestic CBRNE (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosives) situations. We identify, advise, assess and assist in these situations in support of local law enforcement or fire departments and emergency management teams,” Green said.
At Wilber Hall, a staged crisis event involving a chemical agent harmful to residents provided an opportunity for cross-training among the 22-member unit, in the event one or more team members are unavailable.
“We appreciate the university allowing us to use Wilber Hall for this training,” said Reynolds Boyce, a representative of U.S. Army North out of San Antonio who helped evaluate the exercise. “It’s a large, multi-level structure that provided the perfect setting for the exercise, and the housing staff here went above and beyond to provide us what we needed.”
Green’s unit, which is based in Flowood, Miss. was also called on to support relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Because of their exemplary performance during this event, natural disaster response was added to its menu of responsibilities.
“We have a saying, ‘That’s what we do,’” Green said. “We’re here to help. Mississippi is our home, and we protect our home. And we take our job seriously.’”
Green said it was good to be back on the Southern Miss campus, crediting the education he received for helping him advance in the military ranks.
“I started out as a nuclear medical scientist, and my biology background really helped me as I attended several Army science schools to prepare for that,” he said. “And my accounting degree gave me an advantage when I was promoted to deputy commander and given responsibility for budgets.”