Bioterrorism response forces announced

A force of 570 National Guardsman with training in responding to bioterrorism attacks with medical care, security and even decontamination will be stationed in Missouri by 2012.

Missouri was chosen by the Pentagon as one of 10 states that will host Homeland Response Forces, reports. The team will be able to deploy regionally within six to 12 hours. The teams will also be trained in dealing with chemical attacks and nuclear explosions.

The 570 member force will include 200 security and duty members acting as command control, 75 members tasked with decontamination, 50 members called on for search and extraction and 45 members constituting a medical team.

The selections were announced this week by Rep. Ike Skelton, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, which had called on the Defense Department to draft a plan to protect the U.S. in the event of terrorist attacks.

The designation, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon told, "establishes our state as a vital home for military operations and the staff and support they require."

The 10 teams will be organized by FEMA regions, with the Missouri group tasked with covering Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska as well as Missouri.

Other states that will host similar task forces include California, Massachusetts, New York, Texas, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Ohio, Washington and Utah, reports.