Germany took the lead of NATO's highest-readiness military force from France on Sunday.
NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) was formed in 2014 at the core of a strengthened NATO Response Force, after Russia’s annexation of Crimea and crises in the Middle East, placing thousands of troops on standby and ready to deploy within days.
In response to Russia’s war on Ukraine, NATO deployed elements of the VJTF to Romania on the unit's first ever collective-defense mission.
"Germany is an important ally and we thank Germany for leading the VJTF in 2023", said Oana Lungescu, a NATO spokesperson, in a statement.
"As Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine continues to threaten peace and security in Europe, there must be no doubt about NATO’s resolve to protect and defend every inch of Allied territory. The VJTF is NATO’s first responder and a key part of our collective defence. Germany’s leadership is a strong display of its commitment and capabilities," Lungescu said.
The VJTF is the highest-readiness element of NATO Response Force and in 2023, its land forces will comprise around 11,500 troops.