NATO to significantly increase quick-reaction force to over 300,000

Associated Press/Olivier Matthys
Cloth banners flap in the wind outside NATO headquarters in Brussels on June 15, 2022. NATO defense ministers attending a two-day meeting discussed beefing up weapons supplies to Ukraine, and formally asked Sweden and Finland to join the transatlantic military alliance. NATO also released a new Strategic Concept.

NATO plans to significantly increase its quick-reaction force “to well over 300,000” soldiers, the head of the alliance said Monday.

During a news conference on Monday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the military alliance plans to increase its Response Force on its eastern flank.

“We will enhance our battlegroups in the eastern part of the Alliance up to brigade-levels. We will transform the NATO Response Force and increase the number of our high readiness forces to well over 300,000,” Stoltenberg said at the news conference. “We will also boost our ability to reinforce in crisis and conflict.”

Stoltenberg said that the boost in military units will also include more pre-positioned equipment, stockpiles of military supplies, more forward-deployed capabilities, upgraded defense plans and strengthened command and control. 

“These troops will exercise together with home defense forces, and they will become familiar with local terrain, facilities, and our new pre-positioned stocks,” Stoltenberg said. “So that they can respond smoothly and swiftly to any emergency. Together, this constitutes the biggest overhaul of our collective deterrence and defense since the Cold War.” 

NATO leaders are at an alliance summit in Madrid this week to decide on a new strategic concept, which will address the alliance’s future plans for political and military development in the region.

This comes as Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukrainian has entered its fourth month. The unprovoked invasion has resulted in the deaths of thousands of people on both sides and displaced more than 8 million Ukrainian citizens in the process.

Stoltenberg said the military alliance will agree on sending a new assistance package to Ukraine, which would include anti-drone systems and fuel.

“Over the longer term, we will help Ukraine transition from Soviet-era military equipment, to modern NATO equipment,” Stoltenberg added. “And further strengthen its defence and security institutions.”

Tags Jens Stoltenberg Jens Stoltenberg Madrid NATO NATO NATO Russia-Ukraine conflict Russia-Ukraine conflict Spain
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