The Nebraska National Guard has had a major role in the Global War on Terrorism, with many overseas deployments since September 11, 2001. At the same time these "citizen soldiers" have responded when called upon at home.
- In May 2004, 90 members of the Nebraska National Guard assisted in relief efforts following the destructive tornado that struck Hallam, Nebraska.
- In 2005 approximately three hundred Nebraska Guard personnel were deployed to Louisiana and Mississippi in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Nebraska soldiers completed rescue missions, provided communication uplinks for emergency management officials, assisted with hazardous material identification and transportation, and helped provide security in the area.
- In July 2006 more than 60 members of the Nebraska National Guard assisted in battling wildfires that threatened the northwestern Nebraska towns of Valentine, Harrison, and Chadron. Guard soldiers used all-terrain fire trucks and helicopters with buckets that carry two thousand gallons of water to help douse the flames.
Hurricane Katrina came ashore in Louisiana and Mississippi on August 29, 2005. By September 3 Lieutenant Colonel Tom Brewer and eight members of his Nebraska Army National Guard Counter Drug Task Force were in Louisiana to perform rescue and recovery and assist local law enforcement. Brewer took command of Task Force LAV (LAVs are light armored vehicles, in this case also amphibious). He ultimately commanded nine LAVs and approximately thirty guardsmen from five states. In addition to rescuing more than 515 people in the first week, Brewer's group was assigned a top secret U.S. Treasury mission to remove between $50 to $100 million from a Loomis, Fargo and Company warehouse.
If we didn't take reporters with us nobody would tell the story of what was happening down there.
--Colonel Tom Brewer
Within twenty-four hours of the storm ending, the Nebraska Air National Guard delivered 65,000 Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) and 8,000 gallons of fuel for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.
Images of the 2006 Nebraska wildfires taken by Nebraska National Guard soldiers.