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NATO Response Force

The NATO Response Force (NRF) is a highly ready and technologically advanced, multinational force made up of land, air, maritime and Special Operations Forces (SOF) components that the Alliance can deploy quickly, wherever needed. In addition to its operational role, the NRF can be used for greater cooperation in education and training, increased exercises and better use of technology. The NRF has the overarching purpose of being able to provide a rapid military response to an emerging crisis, whether for collective defence purposes or for other crisis-response operations. The NRF is based on a rotational system where Allied nations commit their units for a period of 12 months. Altogether, the enhanced NRF comprises around 40,000 troops.

Soldiers of the Spanish 7th Infantry Brigade “Galicia” (VJTF) in Żagań, Poland, during the exercise "Brilliant Jump" on May 25, 2016. Photo by MNC NE PAO
Deployment of the Spanish 7th Infantry Brigade “Galicia” (VJTF). Szczecin, Poland, May 2016. Photo by MNC NE PAO

NATO Allies decided at the 2014 Wales Summit to enhance the NRF by creating a “spearhead force” within it, known as the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force or VJTF. This enhanced NRF is one of the measures of the Readiness Action Plan (RAP) agreed by Allies to respond to the changes in the security environment. 

The VJTF and Initial Follow-on Forces are based in their home countries, but are able to deploy to wherever they are needed for exercises or crisis response. The VJTF participated in its first deployment exercise in Poland in June 2015 and is regularly tested during exercises on its ability to deploy and respond to any arising crisis.

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