The NATO Response Force: ready to deploy quickly when and where needed

The NATO Response Force (NRF) is a highly prepared, ready and technologically advanced multinational force made up of land, air, maritime and Special Operations Forces components that the Alliance can deploy quickly wherever needed. Its mission is to provide a rapid military response to an emerging crisis, whether for collective defence purposes or other crisis-response operations. After 2014, following the end of the NATO-led combat mission in Afghanistan, the NRF will become more important in maintaining and enhancing the ability of forces across the Alliance to work together.

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2002-11-22 00:00:00

NATO Response Force launched

Allied leaders agree to launch the NRF at their summit meeting in Prague as part of efforts to transform and adapt NATO’s capabilities to 21st century challenges.

2003-06-12 00:00:00


NATO Defence Ministers meeting in Brussels approve the concept of the NRF. The NRF consists of a highly capable joint multinational force able to react in a very short time to the full range of security challenges. It also serves as a catalyst for improving the Alliance’s overall military capabilities.

2003-10-15 00:00:00

NRF inauguration

NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and Supreme Allied Commander Europe General James L. Jones inaugurate the NRF at a ceremony at NATO’s regional headquarters in Brunssum, the Netherlands. "NATO will no longer have the large, massed units that were necessary for the Cold War, but will have agile and capable forces at graduated readiness levels that will better prepare the Alliance to meet any threat that it is likely to face in this 21st century." – General Jones.

2003-11-20 00:00:00

First NRF exercise

The first elements of the NRF show their capabilities in a crisis-response exercise in Doğanbey, Turkey.

2004-09-30 00:00:00


Exercise Destined Glory held in Sardinia, Italy serves to demonstrate the initial operational capability of the NRF.

2004-10-13 00:00:00


At an informal meeting of NATO Defence Ministers in Poiana Brasov, Romania, the NATO Secretary General and Supreme Allied Commander Europe announce that the NRF has reached its initial operational capability.

2005-08-29 00:00:00

Hurricane Katrina

After Hurricane Katrina hits the Gulf Coast of the United States, NATO launches an operation to transport urgently needed items. Some air capabilities of the NRF and NATO Airborne Early Warning training and cargo aircraft are used.

2005-09-29 00:00:00


The NRF tests its capability to conduct complex sea-based operations in NATO’s amphibious exercise, Destined Glory (Loyal Midas) in the Tyrrhenian Sea off the coast of Italy. Over 8,500 personnel, 37 ships and 57 aircraft from ten NATO countries take part in the exercise.

2005-10-08 00:00:00


Following a devastating earthquake in Pakistan, the Alliance launches an intensive three-month relief operation in response to a request for assistance from the Pakistani government. Some 1,000 engineers and support staff and 200 medical personnel from the NRF are deployed along with specialist equipment.

2006-06-15 00:00:00

All NRF components tested in Cape Verde

Exercise Steadfast Jaguar in the Cape Verde Islands evaluates the NRF’s full operational capability. It is the first exercise to employ simultaneously all NRF components – air, maritime, land and Special Operations Forces.

The NATO Response Force: ready to deploy quickly when and where needed

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