Germany has assumed the responsibility of Nato’s very high readiness joint task force (VJTF), which is a joint force consisting of a land component supported by air, maritime and special forces.
The VJTF will be able to deploy at short notice when tasked, between two to seven days, to combat threats against alliance sovereignty.
The force is part of the alliance’s larger Nato Response Force (NRF), which comprises 40,000 troops.
The NRF’s land forces will be controlled by 1st German / Netherlands Corps this year with the entire NRF commanded by admiral James Foggo from Nato’s Joint Force Command in Naples, Italy.
Based on a German brigade, the 9th Panzerlehrbrigade, 2019’s VJTF will comprise a multinational brigade of approximately 8,000 troops.
Partners for this rotation include the Netherlands and Norway, which will provide capabilities such as aviation and mechanised infantry while France, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Czech Republic, Latvia and Lithuania will provide forces.
Nato spokesperson Oana Lungescu said: “The VJTF is a substantial contribution to our collective defence.
“In 2019, nine allies will contribute to the VJTF. This is a strong display of our capabilities and our resolve to work together. Once activated, the VJTF, our spearhead force, is available to move immediately to defend any ally against any threat.”
The creation of VJTF was agreed at the 2014 Nato Wales Summit to enhance the capabilities of the NRF amidst changes in the security environment to the east and south of the alliance’s borders.
The NRF for this year was certified during Exercise Trident Juncture 18, which mainly focused on Nato’s ability to move personnel and armour quickly across Europe.
The exercise saw the participation of around 51,000 personnel, including six army brigades and marine ground forces supported by air, maritime and special forces.
Last year, the VJTF lead brigade was provided by Italy.