first published on September 8, 2019 by Will
Did you know that NATO has a multinational coalition of special forces teams that stand ready to deploy rapidly by land, sea, or air to respond to threats and emergencies?
The NATO Response Force (NRF) falls under the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), and deploys at the command of North Atlantic Council, NATO’s highest political decision-making body.
The NRF deploys to address a wide range of operations and crises. Units of the NRF bolstered security for the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, and previously deployed to support the Afghan presidential elections.
The NATO Response Force also takes part in natural disaster relief missions. The provided humanitarian assistance following Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and humanitarian relief following the earthquake in Pakistan in 2006.
In 2014, the NRF was strengthened by adding several thousand conventional troops to act as a quick response land force should the need for a rapid mass deployment arise. The approximate strength of the NRF stands around 30,000 troops at any one time.
At least 26 NATO member countries and three partner nations (Austria, Finland, and Sweden) take turns rotating units through the NRF on year-long activation deployments.