In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, hundreds of members of the United States Armed Forces were deployed to Ground Zero as 9/11 responders.
The first members of the United States Military to recognize that our great country was under attack on September 11, 2001 served in the New York Air National Guard Eastern Air Defense Sector who were on duty in Rome, N.Y. By nightfall, over 8,000 members of the Army National Guard were deployed to prevent further terrorist attacks around the United States.
The first unit to arrive at Ground Zero on September 11, 2001 was the 1st Battalion of the National Guard. The 1st Battalion served our country in search and rescue operations, and first-aid care for the wounded. The 1st Battalion worked day and night for 314 straight days following September 11, 2001. During this time, they secured the perimeter to prevent further attacks on the area, and protected 9/11 responders from harm. A number of 1st Battalion members were later deployed to Iraq for a tour of duty, which was ostensibly related to 9/11.
National Guard members, and other members of the United States Armed Services, may be eligible for tax-free compensation from the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund if they later developed a 9/11-related condition.
Pitta & Baione LLP serves as counsel to 9/11 responders from various branches of the United States Armed Forces, including the National Guard and the United States Army, before the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. Additionally, Pitta & Baione LLP serves as counsel to 9/11 responders who served in the following agencies: Secret Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York City Police Department, New York City Fire Department, New York City Sanitation Department, East Hampton Police Department, Red Cross, and Salvation Army.
The September 11th Victim Fund works with the National Guard to obtain information about individuals who were on State Active Duty in the aftermath of September 11, 2001. However, the National Guard lacks records confirming where active members were deployed. In other words, the National Guard cannot verify that individual members were deployed to Ground Zero. Therefore, Pitta & Baione LLP prepares necessary proof of presence on behalf of National Guard clients.
The 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund is not limited to responders: anyone who was present in Lower Manhattan, at the Fresh Kills Landfill, in morgues, or at various debris removal sites may be eligible for tax-free compensation.
As a piece of history to honor the National Guard 9/11 responders, the following is an excerpt from the “New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs 9/11 Briefing”:
SUMMARY OF SUPPORT PROVIDED BY NEW YORK STATE’S MILITARY FORCES:
- Based on Governor Pataki’s statewide call to state active duty, 1,500 New York City-based Guard troops were on duty in New York City and another 1,500 upstate troops were on their way to the City by the evening of Sept. 11th.
- The Army National Guard Armory at 68 Lexington Avenue was established as a service point for families of the victims and the missing.
- The Army National Guard Armory at 643 Park Ave. was established as the Joint Task Force Headquarters for all NYC National Guard operations.
- In the immediate aftermath of the attack, the New York National Guard provided a wide array of support to the City of New York, including:
- 24-hour security support and traffic control support around the “Ground Zero” perimeter, and at other strategic points in southern Manhattan;
- warehousing, management and ground transportation for federal and state emergency equipment and supplies;
- drinking water transportation and supply for FDNY and civilian emergency workers;
- portable electricity and light generation;
- refueling operations in support of civilian emergency and debris removal vehicles;
- tents to shelter civilian emergency workers;
- aircraft support to move equipment and emergency personnel;
- forklift and loading operations;
- transport of sandbags and civil engineering equipment;
- support to the US Postal service to get mail out of the ground zero area;
- collection and delivery of 1000 doses of tetanus vaccine to civilian medical personnel to inoculate searchers and rescue personnel.
- In light of the City and State’s heightened security posture in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, Governor Pataki deployed the Guard to support the City of New York’s law enforcement community at train stations, bridges, tunnels and at and around the Ground Zero site.
- The 2nd Civil Support Team (Weapons of Mass Destruction) deployed within minutes of the attack, and arrived at Ground Zero within a half hour of the required request from the City of New York. The CST’s vast communications capabilities were instrumental to federal, state and local agencies in the aftermath, since much of the communications infrastructure had been destroyed. The CST remained on duty for two weeks at Ground Zero providing support to federal, state and local agencies.
These State Active Duty National Guard operations are ongoing:
- Armed patrols at Grand Central Station and Penn Station, and bridges throughout the City;
- Security support at LaGuardia Airport (27th Separate Light Infantry Brigade); previously, Army National Guard troops supported security operations at 20 airports statewide.
- Additional security at four nuclear power plants (at three sites) across the State: Indian Point, Ginna [pron. Jin’-nay] in Wayne Co., and Nine Mile 1 and 2 in Oswego Co. (27th Brigade and NYNM)
These federal National Guard missions are ongoing:
- The 1st Battalion, 127th Armor has been federally mobilized for domestic homeland security/force protection duty as part of Operation Noble Eagle.
- At West Point, members of the Army Guard’s 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry and 1st Battalion, 258th Field Artillery are helping to keep tomorrow’s military leaders secure at the United States Military Academy;
- At Fort Drum, the New York Army National Guard’s 107th Military Police Company are supporting security operations;
- Guard troops from across New York State are embarked on a six-month mission supporting US Customs at the Canadian Border;
- Since Sept. 11, personnel from the New York National Guard Counterdrug Detachment have supported security and search operations at airports and seaports in the Greater New York City area and at international border crossings;
- New York Air National Guard C-5 “Galaxy” (105th Airlift Wing, Newburgh) aircraft and crews are supporting operations all over the world in support of ongoing military operations;
- Members of the Air National Guard’s (107th Air Refueling Wing, Niagara Falls) and their KC-135 “Stratotankers” have been federally mobilized to southwest Asia in support of Operation Enduring Freedom;
- Members of the Army National Guard’s 3rd Battalion, 142nd Aviation have been ordered to federal duty in support of the peacekeeping mission is Bosnia.
- New York Air and Army National Guard personnel are serving at military installations across the state, nation and the world, supporting both the homeland security mission and overseas military operations;
- Air National Guard personnel at Northeast Air Defense Sector continue to monitor the airspace over the Northeastern United States for unauthorized air traffic.
- Our Air National Guard F-16 unit in Syracuse (174th Fighter Wing) has completed a federal rotation supporting combat air patrols over the City of New York;
- New York Air National Guard personnel from the 106th Rescue Wing (Westhampton, LI) continue to participate in the Air Force’s Air Expeditionary Force supporting the UN sanctioned no-fly zone in northern Iraq;
- Members of the 139th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, New York Air National Guard (Scotia) recently returned from duty in southwest Asia in support of Operation Enduring Freedom;
- Since Sept. 11th as many as 8,000 National Guard troops have been on duty at one time, with as many as 5,000 providing direct support to the City of New York
- About 15,000 members of the state’s militia forces (mostly Air and Army National Guard, but including hundreds of Naval Militia and New York Guard troops) have been involved in various state and federal missions since Sept. 11th — this represents their largest and most significant sustained deployment since World War II
- As of Aug. 20, 2002 there were about 2,100 members of the New York Air and Army National Guard on duty in state and federal status.