Reuters: Kacper Pempel
NATO’s rapid response Spearhead Force in Europe might reach 40,000 troops, a tenfold growth from the initial 4,000-strong force deployed last year, the military alliance’s chief said. Most of these troops will be stationed near Russian borders.
“NATO defense ministers … [will] make a decision to further increase the strength and capacity of the 13,000-strong NATO Response Force (NRF) to 30,000 or 40,000 troops,”Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Monday.
The decision is to be officially announced during NATO’s defense ministers meeting on June 24-25 in Brussels.
The troops will be under the command of 6 HQs to be stationed in Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania. The Spearhead Force will include Special Forces and rapid response teams, enforced with marine and air components.
A new rapid reaction force ready to be deployed within 48 hours was initially intended to consist of 4,000 troops.
The Spearhead Force has already held its first military drills codenamed Noble Jump in Poland. The war games became “the biggest reinforcement” of defense since Cold War times, said Stoltenberg, adding that the alliance is facing challenges from “the behavior of a more assertive” Russia.
Last week, Stoltenberg criticized Russia for announced plans to add to its nuclear arsenal 40 newly made intercontinental ballistic missiles in 2015.
“This nuclear saber-rattling of Russia is unjustified. It’s destabilizing and it’s dangerous. This is something which we are addressing, and it’s also one of the reasons we are now increasing the readiness and preparedness of our forces,” Stoltenberg said during a news briefing in Brussels last Tuesday.
More at Reuters
Dusclaimer: This article was not written by Silent Soldier.