NATO Response Force Activated for First Time in History
For the first time in its history, NATO has activated its NATO Response Force (NRF) in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“We have activated NATO’s defense plans to prepare ourselves to respond to a range of contingencies and secure Alliance territory, including by drawing on our response forces,” NATO heads of state and government said in a joint statement after holding a virtual summit.
“We are now making significant additional defensive deployments of forces to the eastern part of the Alliance. We will make all deployments necessary to ensure strong and credible deterrence and defense across the Alliance, now and in the future.”
The statement stressed the moves “are and remain preventive, proportionate and non-escalatory.”
The history-making move marks the first time NATO has activated the NRF, a multinational force comprised of around 40,000 land, air, maritime and special operations personnel the alliance can deploy on short notice as needed.
All 30 members of NATO must agree to activate the force, which they did on Thursday.
Supreme Allied Commander of NATO Gen. Tod Wolters, the head of the NRF, called the force’s activation a “historic moment.”
“They represent a flexible, combat credible force that can be employed in multiple ways and we are utilizing fully their inherent agility,” Wolters said.
“These deterrence measures are prudent and enhance our speed, responsiveness and capability to shield and protect the one billion citizens we swore to protect.”