The UK contribution to the NATO Readiness Initiative includes a UK-led brigade and a UK Carrier Strike Group.
At the first NATO Defence Ministers meeting of 2020, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace used the occasion to reassure NATO’s European members that the United Kingdom remains a key element of broader European security.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg described the initiative last year:
“We will also agree a NATO Readiness Initiative – the ‘Four Thirties’ – to ensure that by 2020, we have 30 mechanised battalions, 30 air squadrons and 30 combat vessels, ready within 30 days or less.”
On February the 12th, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace announced the multiple contributions that the UK plans to make toward the NATO Readiness Initiative, with the most significant involving his signature on a Readiness Declaration that committed the UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said:
“A Global Britain will continue to play a leading role in NATO, working with multiple Allies and contributing a range of capabilities, cementing the UK as a Tier 1 military power. That was clearly demonstrated today with the declaration that the Joint Expeditionary Force will contribute to the NATO Readiness Initiative. including through a UK-led land brigade and the UK Carrier Strike Group.”
According to a Government news release:
“The JEF is a partnership of like-minded nations that provides a high-readiness force of over 10,000 personnel. It is committed to supporting global and regional peace, stability and security either on its own or through multinational institutions such as NATO. Made up of northern European nations, the JEF’s prime interest is in Euro-Atlantic security with efforts focused on but not limited to the High North, North Atlantic and Baltic regions where it can complement the NATO deterrence efforts in the region. The signing of a joint declaration to make a substantial commitment to the NATO Readiness Initiative recognises this and the Readiness Initiative’s future contribution to European peace and security.
The Defence Secretary also announced that the UK would deploy four RAF Typhoon jets to Šiauliai Air Base this summer where they will contribute to the NATO Baltic Air Policing mission. Alongside fast jets from Spain, the RAF quick reaction alert pilots will patrol Baltic skies, deter threats and intercept any incursions into NATO airspace. This follows the UK’s previous deployments on NATO Baltic Air Policing in Estonia and on NATO Southern Air Policing in Romania.
In working sessions with fellow Defence Ministers, the Defence Secretary discussed a range of issues affecting NATO including the future of NATO’s Mission in Iraq as well as the role the Alliance can play in the wider Middle East. The UK agrees with the Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg that NATO could contribute even more to regional stability and the fight against international terrorism.”
In the news release Wallace also announced that four Typhoons will deploy to Lithuania as part of the NATO Air Policing mission.