Team Rainbow (also known as RAINBOW) is an elite international counterterrorist unit that falls under the direct supervision of NATO. The unit was formed to combat terrorist actions worldwide in a more effective way by assembling a team of elite counterterrorist operatives from nations all over the world. Since its formation in 1999, Rainbow has prevented several terrorist plots since its activation but was deactivated in 2012. The unit was reactivated three years later under a new director codenamed "Six", to combat the White Masks and their widespread terrorist attacks.

Organization and Recruitment

A multinational special operations task force operating under NATO supervision, Rainbow was formed in 1999 to combat the rise of terrorist "Free Agents" following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Since its formation, the unit is always run by a Director and Deputy Director. Operatives are recruited from the world's leading counter-terrorism and special forces units including Delta Force, GSG-9, Spetznaz and many others. Originally based in Hereford, England (real-life home of 22 SAS, the UK special forces unit), the unit was once led by John Clark, who had the idea for Rainbow and was the unit's first Director. Rainbow is "blacker than black", its American funding directed through the Department of the Interior by Congress, then through The Pentagon's Office of Special Projects, with no connection whatsoever to the Intelligence Community. Less than a hundred people in Washington, D.C. know that Rainbow exists.

Units that form Rainbow

Known members



Acting Leader of Forward Operations

Director of R&D


  • Recruits from various counter-terrorism agencies

Major Operations

Main Timeline

Alternate Timeline

Known Member States


  • Although Team Rainbow first appeared in the Ryanverse in Rainbow Six, its history split in the video games. The team also appears in the novel The Bear and the Dragon.
  • According to one alternate timeline, Rainbow is disbanded in 2019 with Domingo Chavez as its last director. This occurs prior to the events of the video game Tom Clancy's EndWar.


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