Rapid Reaction Force

NATO has a rapid response force: the NATO Response Force (NRF). NATO can deploy the response force all over the world within 5 to 30 days subject to the consent of all member states.

Units and response times

The NRF comprises units with various response times.

  • The Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF): this ‘spearhead force’ is the unit that can be deployed most rapidly.
  • Initial Follow-on Forces Group (IFFG): units with a longer response time, which can reinforce the VJTF.
  • Follow-on Forces Group (FFG): units without a pre-determined response time.

The composition of the NRF is changed every 12 months.

EU Battlegroup

The EU also has combat units numbering approximately 3,000 military personnel on stand-by. This battlegroup (EUBG) is equipped with all the required specialisations, such as combat support, logistics and transport. It is capable of conducting missions worldwide, ranging in duration from 30 up to 120 days. In principle, the possible deployment areas will be within a 6,000 kilometres radius of Brussels.

Battlegroups allow the EU to rapidly and robustly intervene in countries where the situation is threatening to get out of hand or has already done so. EU Battlegroups can also be deployed for evacuation operations and humanitarian aid operations.