In the event of a crisis, NATO turns to its Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF), a rapidly deployable, multinational force capable of quickly bringing air, land, maritime and Special Operations forces to bear. The VJTF will play a critical role in Trident Juncture 2018, a large NATO exercise involving some 40,000 troops from more than 30 nations. This video features the German Army’s 9th Armoured Brigade, which will lead the VJTF in 2019, and Norway’s Telemark Battalion, which will also participate in the VJTF starting next year. The United Kingdom currently leads the VJTF, which is staffed by Allies on a rotational basis.
During the 2014 Wales summit NATO leaders agreed to establish a Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF). The VJTF will be a high-readiness “Spearhead Force” able to deploy at short notice to threats against NATO sovereignty. It will consist of a land brigade numbering around 5,000 troops, supported by air, sea and special forces. The VJTF would be supported by two more land brigades as a “rapid reinforcement capability” in case of a major crisis. HQ HQ VJTF (L) on 1 Jan 2017 and commands a 5,000 strong multinational brigade drawn from 14 contributing nations.
The main manoeuvre units are Danish and British Armoured Infantry, Polish Mechanised Infantry, a US Aviation Battalion, Spanish Light Mechanised Infantry and a British-led multinational Light Infantry Battalion. The Task Force also has significant intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance, artillery and engineering assets. Altogether, the enhanced NATO Response Force will amount to around 30,000 troops. Of NATO’s non-member partners, Finland and Sweden joined the Response Force in 2008 and 2013, respectively. Ukraine and Georgia began contributions, respectively, in 2014 and 2015.