The UK has assumed responsibility of Nato's very high readiness joint task force (VJTF), which will be able to deploy at short notice to combat threats against alliance sovereignty.

The force is made up of around 20,000 soldiers and is supported by land, air, maritime and special forces components.

With an ability to respond to aggression on territories of Nato member states within 48 hours, the VJTF is established on a rotational basis and will not have a permanent base.

The force will follow initial warnings and indicators of potential threats before a crisis begins, in order to act as a potential deterrent to further escalation.

The British Army's 20th Armoured Infantry Brigade will provide armoured infantry and light role infantry battlegroups, including communications, reconnaissance, intelligence capabilities, combat support and logistic elements.

"The force will follow initial warnings and indicators of potential threats before a crisis begins, in order to act as a potential deterrent to further escalation."

The multinational brigade participated in several tactical and strategic exercises throughout last year to enhance integration and interoperability.

More than 3,000 soldiers from 14 Nato troop contributing nations took part in the Venerable Gauntlet exercise at Sennelager Training Area in Germany in September.

The Venerable Gauntlet exercise was conducted by the UK to validate the land element of the VJTF headquarters.

Additionally, a two-day Logistic Assurance ‘wargame’ was held in Tidworth in May, to analyse the logistic risks and challenges to defence to mount, deploy and sustain the VJTF land force at very short notice to anywhere within or outside Nato’s borders.

Image: VJTF is established on a rotational basis and will not be permanently based. Photo: courtesy of Crown Copyright.