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NATO Response Force (NRF)

The NATO Response Force

The NATO Response Force (NRF) is a highly ready and technologically advanced multinational force made up of land, air, maritime and Special Forces components that the Alliance can deploy quickly to wherever it is needed. It's mission is to provide a rapid demonstration of force and the early establishment of NATO military presence in support of an Article 5 or Crisis Response Operation and to be a catalyst for transformation of capabilities in the Alliance. It was first declared operational in 2003. The decision to use the NRF requires a consensual political decision, taken on a case-by-case basis by the North Atlantic Council.

The NRF has three main elements: 

  • a military Headquarters to exercise command and control;
  • a "ready-to-go" Immediate Response Force: a joint force of up to 13,000 high-readiness troops provided by Allies;
  • a Response Forces Pool of around 15,000 follow-on forces, which can supplement the Immediate Response Force when necessary. 

As with every NATO operation, the Supreme Allied Commander Europe has operational responsibility for deployed NATO forces. The operational command of the NRF alternates between NATO's two Joint Force Commands in Brunssum and Naples.

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