Military contribution to NATO in 2024

Every year, the Netherlands contributes military capabilities, such as vessels, aircraft and army units, to NATO. That is part of the Defence organisation’s first main task: to protect our own territory and that of our NATO allies.

If NATO requests it, the Netherlands also contributes capabilities to the NATO Response Force (NRF) and the NATO Readiness Initiative (NRI). However, that only takes place following a decision to that effect by NATO’s North Atlantic Council (NAC), and only if all Member States (including the Netherlands) agree.

NATO Response Force (NRF)

The NRF is NATO's rapid response force. It consists of:

  • Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF). The VJTF is the most rapidly deployable response force, and is also known as the spearhead force.
  • Initial Follow-on Forces Group (IFFG). The IFFG can be deployed less rapidly than the VJTF. It consists of units that can reinforce the VJTF.
  • Follow-on Forces Group (FFG). The FFG has no pre-determined response time.

NATO Readiness Initiative (NRI)

The NRI serves to increase NATO’s pool of units that are at a heightened state of readiness.

Allied defence

At the moment, the main focus of Allied defence is to bolster the deterrence against Russia and reassure the eastern NATO Member States. 

Below is a summary of the military capabilities that the Netherlands MoD will deploy, have on standby (NRF) and have at a heightened state of readiness (NRI) in 2024. The Netherlands also contributes to other NATO missions, for example the NATO mission in Iraq.

This page was last updated on 22 May 2024.

Dutch NATO deployments in 2024

  • NATO fleet SNMG1
    The Netherlands will contribute a frigate with an NH90 helicopter on board. Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1) is one of NATO’s permanent maritime response forces.
  • NATO fleet SNMCMG1
    1 minehunter with the Standing NATO Mine Counter Measures Group 1 (SNMCMG1). This is one of NATO’s standing mine countermeasures task forces.
  • NATO airspace security
    • Benelux
      As part of NATO air policing, the Netherlands alternates with Belgium on a quarterly basis in guarding Benelux airspace. The aircraft are on standby 24/7 to intercept unidentified aircraft.
    • Estonia
      At the end of 2024, the Netherlands will contribute to NATO air space surveillance and security from air bases in Estonia. To this end, the Defence organisation will send up to 10 F-35 fighter aircraft and about 90 to 150 military personnel to the Baltic State.
  • eFP Lithuania
    Since February 2017, the Netherlands has contributed approximately 250 military personnel to NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) in Lithuania. The mandate will remain in effect until at least the end of 2024 and, from mid-2022, the Netherlands will deploy up to 350 military personnel.
  • eVA Romania
    The Netherlands has contributed 3 MQ-9 Reapers and approximately 140 military personnel, more than half of whom are based in the Netherlands, as part of the enhanced Vigilance Activities (eVA) in Romania.
  • NMI Iraq
    The Netherlands has contributed a Force Protection company to the NATO mission in Iraq (NMI). This involves the deployment of approximately 145 military personnel for a period of at least one year, from 1 January 2024 to 31 December 2024. The Netherlands will also provide the Force Commander with staff and 3 manned transport helicopters starting in May. This means that the Netherlands will contribute approximately 300 military personnel to the NATO mission in Iraq (NMI) in 2024.

Stand-by for the NATO Response Force

 In 2024, the Netherlands will have the following on stand-by for the VJTF and IFFG  of the NATO Response Force:

  • 1 joint logistic support ship.
  • 1 frigate.
  • 1 submarine.
  • 1 minehunter.
  • 1 battalion with combat and logistical support capabilities.
  • 1 armoured howitzer battery.
  • 1 supply company.
  • 1 maintenance company.
  • Various units for the (DEU/NLD/NOR) brigade, including a Dutch battalion task force and a German/Dutch air defence unit. Altogether, this involves approximately 1,500 military personnel from the Netherlands.

Stand-by for the NATO Readiness Initiative

For the NRI, the Netherlands will have the following on stand-by in 2024:

  • 1 battalion task force (1,200 military personnel).
  • 1 engineer company.
  • F-35 fighter aircraft.
  • Combat and transport helicopters.
  • MQ-9 Reaper unmanned (unarmed) aerial capability.
  • 1 frigate.