400 Soldiers, families to gather for NY National Guard deployment ceremony in Rochester Saturday
42nd Infantry Division Headquarters troops go on duty to prepare for deployment in early spring
ROCHESTER, NY (01/10/2020) (readMedia)-- Eighty New York National Guard Soldiers assigned to the headquarters of the 42nd Infantry Division will say goodbye to their family members at the Patriot Way Armory near Rochester International Airport on Saturday, Jan. 11 as they go on duty to prepare for deployment to the United States Central Command area of responsibility.
The division has been preparing for this Middle East deployment for the last two years.
WHO: 80 Soldiers and 300 family members, and Brig. Gen. Joseph Biehler, the division's deputy commander for operations and other New York National Guard leaders.
WHAT: Military farewell ceremony as the Soldiers prepare to depart for Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania to begin training to deploy to the U.S. Central Command area later this year. The Soldiers will spend approximately 10 months deployed.
Three ceremonies are being held across the state as 650 Soldiers mobilize. Events are also being held in Staten Island and in Loudonville, outside Albany.
WHEN: 11 a.m., Saturday, January 11, 2020.
WHERE: Patriot Way Armory, 76 Patriot Way, Rochester
Video and still coverage of the farewell ceremony. There will be a chance to interview Soldiers and family members as well as New York National Guard Leaders.
Members of the press who wish to cover this event must contact Mr. Ryan Campbell at 716-697-5596 for access to this secure military facility.
The New York National Guard's 42nd Infantry Division will be holding farewell events in Rochester, Staten Island and the Albany-area on Saturday, Jan. 11 for 650 Soldierswho will be deploying later this year.
The three locations were picked so that Soldier's families do not have to travel too far for one central event. 42nd Infantry Division leaders anticipate that 2,500 Soldiers and family members will attend the three events.
The division, commanded by Major General Steven Ferrari will assume command over Task Force Spartan .
Task Force Spartan is a unique, multi-component organization, made up of active Army and National Guard units, rounded out by U.S. Army Reserve support units. The task force maintains U.S. military posture in Southwest Asia sufficient to strengthen defense relationships and build partner capacity.
Units in the task force support Operation Spartan Shield with capabilities such as aviation, logistics, force protection and information management.
The division headquarters and the task force will facilitate theater security cooperation activities such as key leader engagements, joint exercises, conferences, symposia and humanitarian assistance/disaster response planning.
Division Soldiers will initially conduct training at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania and then move to Fort Hood later this month for additional pre-deployment training.
The Albany region event will be held at "The Alumni Recreation Center at Siena College in Loudonville. Brig. Gen. Thomas Spencer, the division's deputy commander for support, will be the ranking officer at the Siena College event. The division expects 200 Soldiers and over 800 family members to participate in this event.
The Staten Island farewell will be held at the College of Staten Island's Atrium at 2800 Victory Blvd. About 230 Soldiers and 870 family members are expected to attend. Major Gen. Steve Ferrari, the division commander, will be the ranking officer at this event.
The 42nd Infantry Division was created during World War I when National Guard elements from 26 states were combined into one division that could deploy to France quickly. The officer who came up with the idea, Col. Douglas MacArthur, said the division would stretch across the United States "like a Rainbow."
Since then the division has been known as The Rainbow Division.
In World War II the division was recreated and fought in France and Germany. Division Soldiers took the cities of Wurzburg and Munich and liberated the inmates at the infamous Dachau Concentration Camp.
In 1947 the 42nd Infantry Division became part of the New York Army National Guard. Division Soldiers responded to state emergencies and served as part of the United States strategic reserve.
In 2004 the division headquarters and support elements were mobilized for deployment to Iraq. Division soldiers served in Iraq in 2005, with the division headquarters responsible for 23,000 Soldiers in four Iraqi provinces.