Eurocorps officially assumed responsibility as NATO Response Force Land Component for 2020 in a ceremony at their headquarters in Strasbourg, France on Wednesday.
They take over for the Münster, Germany based 1st German-Netherlands Corps (1GNC) who had the mission for all of 2019.
Eurocorps assumes this responsibility for the third time with their first two rotations as the stand-by unit occurring in 2006 and 2009 respectively.
NATO Allied Land Command Commander, U.S. Army Lieutenant General J.T. Thomson, presided over the hand over ceremony held on Eurocorps’ Strasbourg headquarters parade grounds.
Eurocorps is presently not established at the EU level (referred to as the Common Security and Defence Policy, CSDP); it is for instance not a project of the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) of the CSDP.
“Lieutenant General Kolodziej and Eurocorps are exactly the right team to assume the NRF  Land Component Command mission,” said Lieutenant General Thomson.
“They have skillfully prepared for the stand-by role over the past year as the stand-up Corps headquarters.”
The NATO Response Force (NRF) is a highly ready and technologically advanced multinational force made up of land, air, maritime and Special Forces components that the Alliance can deploy quickly to wherever it is needed. Its mission is to provide a rapid demonstration of force and the early establishment of NATO military presence in support of an Article 5 or Crisis Response Operation and to be a catalyst for transformation of capabilities in the Alliance.
Despite common misconceptions, Eurocorps was not established at the EU level; it is for instance not a project of the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) of the EU Common Security and Defence Policy.
French Army Lieutenant General Laurent Kolodziej, Eurocorps Commander, affirmed the readiness of his Corps Headquarters.
“Eurocorps, an outfit formed by 10 nations, is aided in its mission by its multinational scope and extensive experience gained in just about every major operation under NATO or European Union command,” said Kolodziej via a press statement.
Assumption of the NRF mission means Eurocorps could potentially lead up to 65,000 ground troops in a high-intensity warfare, he said.