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.

The Dutch contribution in 2019

To the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF):

  • In 2019, the Netherlands, Germany and Norway will provide the land component of the VJTF. The headquarters of 1 German/Netherlands Army Corps will be deployed as Land Component Command;
  • Transport capability;
  • F-16 fighter aircraft;
  • A KDC-10 tanker aircraft;
  • A C-130 Hercules transport aircraft;
  • A battlegroup;
  • A Special Operations Land Task Group;
  • Personnel for the Special Operations Command Centre;
  • Specific capabilities within multinational support elements.

The Netherlands will also provide the VJTF with:

  • A frigate as staff ship. The Netherlands will command the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (January-June);
  • A frigate and NH90 maritime combat helicopter for the Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (August-December);
  • Two minehunters for the NATO Mine Counter Measures Group 1 (for 3 to 4 months).

For the Initial Follow-on Forces Group (IFFG):

  • An amphibious task force for a British task group;
  • A submarine (July-December).

For the Follow-on Forces Group (FFG):

  • F-16 fighter aircraft.

As part of the reassurance measures for the eastern allies, the Netherlands will contribute to a number of exercises, including Noble Jump in Poland and Baltops in the Baltic Sea.

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.

The Dutch contribution in 2019

In 2019, the Netherlands will not be contributing any units to the EU-Battlegroup. The Dutch contribution will resume in the second half of 2020.