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Forces: U.S. & Coalition/Army
Deployments in the Persian Gulf
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Spc. James Acker and Sgt. Michael Cochran, combat engineers with the 467th Engineer Battalion, scan for suspicious vehicles while searching for roadside bombs in Baquba, Iraq.  
42nd Infantry Division

Soldiers: Approximately 3,000

Home fort: Various installations

Deployed to: North central Iraq

Units: In Iraq, 42nd Division soldiers will provide the command and control, logistics and operational base for Task Force Liberty, which is responsible for the Iraqi provinces of Salah Ah Din, Diyala, Kirkuk and As Sulaymaniyah. Besides the 42nd's units, the task force will include the Idaho Army National Guard's 116th Cavalry Brigade, the Tennessee Army National Guard's 278th Regimental Combat Team, and the 1st and 3rd Brigades from the Fort Stewart, Georgia-based 3rd Infantry Division. The task force is part of the Army's third rotation for Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Duties: The 42nd relieved the 1st Infantry Division and take control of north central Iraq by the end of February 2005 for a yearlong tour of duty. The division is the first National Guard contingent to be in charge of an entire area of operation in the Middle East.

The division was organized in 1917 from National Guard units from 26 states. At that time, it received the nickname "Rainbow Division" from a comment made by the division's chief of staff, then-Col. Douglas MacArthur. Reviewing the National Guard units, MacArthur said "the 42nd Division stretches like a rainbow from one end of America to the other." 42nd Division soldiers have served in all wars since World War I and the modern 42nd was created in 1993 when it consolidated with elements of the 26th and 50th Divisions to form one National Guard division.

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