UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has signed the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) comprehensive memorandum of understanding (MoU) together with counterparts from eight partner nations.
The MoU marks the end of the establishment of the JEF, thereby preparing the force for action, with the UK leading the project as the framework nation.
Comprising nine northern European allies, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden, the JEF can currently deploy more than 10,000 personnel from across the partner nations.
Williamson said: “Our commitment today sends a clear message to our allies and adversaries alike, our nations will stand together to meet new and conventional challenges and keep our countries and our citizens safe and secure in an uncertain world.
“We are judged by the company we keep, and while the Kremlin seeks to drive a wedge between allies old and new alike, we stand with the international community united in support of international rules.”
The joint force is developed from the shared operational experiences of the allied partners, and their understanding of the current threats and challenges.
Launched in 2015, the JEF has continued to develop by improving its ability to respond rapidly to meet a wide range of global challenges and threats, varying from humanitarian assistance to carrying out high-intensity combat operations.