When terrorists struck the World Trade Center on September 11th, 2001, the Rainbow Division led the response, providing immediate support to New York’s emergency responders at ground zero. Thousands of Rainbow Soldiers maintained security and supported recovery operations as part of Joint Task Force 42.
The 42nd Division went on to support Operation Noble Eagle, our Nation’s homeland defense mission with the federal mobilization of hundreds of troops for security at airports and active military installations in the fall of 2001 and into 2002. Hundreds of others supported state mobilizations for train station, power plant and bridge & tunnel security, including forces to augment security operations at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
While supporting the warfighting missions of the maneuver brigades, the Rainbow Division headquarters assumed greater responsibilities for disaster response missions and homeland security roles in 2010 by providing the Domestic All-Hazards Response Team, coordinating all National Guard response resources for the eastern United States and training as a Homeland Response Force headquarters in the spring of 2012, providing command and control for National Guard response forces supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency in New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands in the event of a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-explosive incident.
The Soldiers who wear the famous 42nd Infantry patch and their associated units continue the Rainbow division’s long-standing tradition of service to nation, state, and community.