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About the NATO Response Force

Library image of a Norwegian CV9035 on a NATO Response Force training exercise [© Bob Morrison]

Five things you should know about the NATO Response Force which has been activated for the first time in a deterrence and defence role.


In response to Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, NATO activated elements of the NATO Response Force for the first time in a deterrence and defence role. The NRF is NATO’s designated force in readiness, on standby 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to respond to whatever crisis might face the Alliance. Allies contribute forces to the NRF, which can respond on land, in the air or at sea.

[© NATO Multimedia]

In 2014, following Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea, NATO bolstered the NRF with a spearhead unit, formally known as the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force, or VJTF. The leadership of the VJTF rotates annually between Allies.


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