France, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Czech Republic, Latvia and Lithuania also provide forces. Together, they represent a multinational brigade of around 8,000 troops.
“The VJTF is a substantial contribution to our collective defence,” said NATO Spokesperson Oana Lungescu. “In 2019, nine Allies will contribute to the VJTF. This is a strong display of our capabilities and our resolve to work together. Once activated, the VJTF, our Spearhead Force, is available to move immediately to defend any Ally against any threat”, said the Alliance in a statement.
The VJTF is a joint force, consisting of a land component, supported by air, maritime and special forces. It is part of the Alliance’s larger NATO Response Force (NRF) with around 40,000 troops.
This year, the 1st German/Netherlands Corps is in charge of the NRF’s land forces. Admiral James Foggo commands the entire NRF from NATO’s Joint Force Command in Naples, Italy.
Last year we reported that the vast majority of major weapons systems in the German military were unavailable for training exercises or deployment, according to a German Defence Ministry report.
According to local media, the German Defence Ministry said that a higher number of training missions and deployments since Russia’s intervention in eastern Ukraine in 2014 had caused existing equipment to wear down quicker than it had previously.