As part of NATO's adaptation to security challenges from the
east and the south, the Alliance has opened eight NATO Force Integration Units (NFIU) in
Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. This follows a
decision taken at the Wales Summit in September 2014 as part of NATO's
Readiness Action Plan: a comprehensive package of measures designed to respond
to the changed security environment on the Alliance's borders.
The NATO Force Integration Units (NFIUs) have been active beginning in September 2015 and achieved Full Operational Capability (FOC) throughout 2016-2017. The NFIUs are based in Sofia (Bulgaria), Tallinn
(Estonia), Szekesfehervar (Hungary), Riga (Latvia), Vilnius (Lithuania), Bydgoszcz (Poland) Bucharest
(Romania) and Bratislava (Slovakia).
NATO's core task is to keep Allies safe. These small
headquarters represent a visible and persistent NATO presence in these six
Allies. All NATO steps to reinforce collective defence and increase its
readiness are defensive, proportionate and in line with our international
What will these NFIUs do?
These small headquarters will help facilitate the rapid
deployment of Allied forces to the Eastern part of the Alliance, support
collective defence planning and assist in coordinating training and exercises.
They are not military bases.
The NFIUs are a vital link between national forces and
forces of other NATO Allies. They will also work with host nations to identify
logistical networks, transportation routes and supporting infrastructure to
ensure that NATO's high-readiness forces can deploy to the region as quickly as
possible and work together effectively to help keep our nations safe.
How will they be staffed?
Each unit will be manned by around 40 national and NATO
staff. Each host nation will provide 20 national staff and NATO Allies will
provide 20 multinational staff on a rotational basis.
How were the locations chosen?
The decision on the location of the NFIUs was taken by the
North Atlantic Council, following invitation by the host nations and a military
To further enhance the responsiveness of the Alliance, NATO
is currently considering establishing additional NFIUs.
Who will pay for the NFIUs?
As with all NATO deployments, the staff working at the NFIUs
will be paid by their respective nations. Construction and maintenance costs
for the buildings are covered by the host nations. Part of the costs are
covered through common funding which is paid for by all 28 Allies. This
includes, for instance, the provision of collectively owned equipment such as
computers and communication links.
The NFIUs are part of NATO's readiness action plan
These small headquarters are part of the biggest
reinforcement of NATO's collective defence since the end of the Cold War. At
the Wales Summit in September 2014, Allied leaders approved the Readiness
Action Plan: a comprehensive package of measures to respond to the changed
security environment on NATO's borders. The activation of the NFIUs
demonstrates that the implementation of the Readiness Action Plan is on track
and on time.
NATO is also increasing the speed and strength of its
rapid-reaction forces, which will consist of up to 40,000 troops. Their core is
the Spearhead Force, whose lead elements will be able to start operating in as
little as 48 hours.
NATO has also made its decision-making quicker and more
effective. And it is setting up a new logistics headquarters, to help move
troops across the Alliance more quickly when needed.
As of February 2019