Poland: North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Nato) has been testing its new rapid reaction force for the first time amid growing tensions with Russia.
It was decided after the Nato summit in Wales last year followed by the crisis in Ukraine.
More than 2,000 troops from nine states are participating in the force’s first exercise in Poland. The exercise involves various types of drills by the forces.
Some 900 German and 200 Dutch troops have been deployed for exercises in the Netherlands while in the Czech Republic has some 150 national troops. Joint Force Command Capt. Marek Marszalek from the Naples, in Italy said that soldiers from other countries were also participating for the mass drill program. He was speaking to reporters at the Chrudim airfield that is about 100 kilometers (60 miles) east of Prague. It was only two days before that the Czech troops were received orders to move from the barracks to the departure point. The exercises called “Noble jump” are specially designed to favor NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF). The force was established with an intention to strengthen the coalition’s eastern flank amid the issues over Russia.
Czech Army Maj. Gen. Jiri Baloun said that this was also to reinforce the new concept of fast deployment within dozens of hours instead of dozens of days as performed before.
Brig. Gen. Kees Matthijssen told AFP at exercises in Eindhoven at Netherlands that unlike other exercise programs, the present one is a tight schedule an it is absolutely necessary.
According to him, they have to make sure that all soldiers are with their equipments and vehicles and they would be ready within 48 hours.
This new military arrangement was the aftereffect of Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and its meddling in eastern Ukraine that have triggered concerns in ex-communist eastern and central European states who have joined the NATO after the Cold War.
Video on the testing drill of NATO rapid reaction force