National Guard to protect Times Square for New Year's Eve

Members of the New York National Guard's Joint Task Force Empire Shield will assist the New York Police Department in providing security during the New Year's Eve celebration in Times Square to stop any potential terrorist activity.

The New York National Guard 24th Civil Support Team, a collection of 22 airmen and solider that are trained to identify and detect hazardous materials like chemical, biological or radiological weapons, will be standing by in case they are needed by the fire or police department, the Oneida Daily Dispatch reports.

"New Yorkers can celebrate the New Year with the confidence knowing our National Guard remains on duty this holiday weekend to assist our partners in law enforcement and emergency management," Maj. Gen. Patrick Murphy, New York's adjutant general, said, according to the Oneida Daily Dispatch.

The soldiers of the 24th Civil Support Team were recently certified by the Department of Defense as ready for potential terrorist activity.

"As we have recently been certified to respond to natural or man-made emergencies we look forward to be able to support local authorities during this year's New Year's celebration in Times Square," Lt. Col. Kaarlo Hietala, commander of the 24th Civil Support Team, said, the Oneida Daily Dispatch reports.

Other units will also be on hand to help with security, including the New York Air National Guard's Eastern Air Defense Sector, which will be patrolling the skies above the celebration.