The Spearhead Force is part of the Alliance’s larger NATO Response Force, which is being increased to a force level of around 30,000 troops
This article originally appeared at NATO
NATO completed the first military drills for its new rapid reaction force, on Thursday (9 April 2015). From Tuesday (7 April 2015) through Thursday, more than 1,500 troops took part in exercise “Noble Jump,” designed to test whether troops assigned to NATO’s new Spearhead Force, or Very High Readiness Joint Task Force, could be ready to deploy 48 hours after receiving an order-to-move.
Across Europe, headquarters personnel from Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Lithuania, Norway, Slovenia, Poland and Portugal tested their responses to NATO alert orders. In the Czech Republic and the Netherlands, troops and equipment were assembled quickly at airfields and railway stations as if they were about to depart. The units involved in this week’s exercise will also be involved in further trials in Poland in June.
“NATO military planners have been working tirelessly to enhance NATO’s Response Force and implement the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force, and today our progress is manifested in the rapid deployments we see happening in locations across the Alliance,” said General Philip Breedlove, Supreme Allied Commander Europe. “These measures are defensive, but are a clear indication that our Alliance has the capability and will to respond to emerging security challenges on our southern and eastern flanks,” he said.
In response to the changed security environment in Europe, NATO leaders at the Wales Summit decided to create a new quick reaction military force designed to respond swiftly to new challenges on the Alliance’s southern and eastern borders. The high readiness force will include about 5,000 land troops, with supporting maritime, special operations and air units. Lead elements of the new force will be able to move in as little as 48 hours. The Spearhead Force is part of the Alliance’s larger NATO Response Force, which is being increased to a force level of around 30,000 troops.