The NATO command element stationed in Tallinn celebrated its second anniversary on Friday. During its two years of operation the NATO Force Integration Unit (NFIU) has supported the arrival of the NATO battle group in Estonia.
In addition to preparing and supporting the arrival of allied troops, the primary responsibility of all of NATO’s integration units is to facilitate the rapid deployment of the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) and other elements of the NATO Response Force (NRF) at a high readiness level to enhance the alliance's responsiveness.
"The NATO command element in Estonia is NATO's bridgehead that guarantees the fast movement of allies to Estonia, if it should be necessary," Defence Minister Jüri Luik (IRL) said, adding that the local unit was part of NATO's real actions to protect Estonia.
The NATO Readiness Action Plan (RAP) adopted at the Wales summit in 2014 includes a set of adaptation measures to enhance NATO's military posture and readiness levels. These include enhancing the NRF to make it more responsive and capable, the creation of a new quick reaction "Spearhead Force," the prepositioning of military equipment and supplies in member states situated on the alliance's eastern borders, and the establishment of a multinational NATO command and control presence and reception facilities on the territories of the eastern allies Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania at all times, with personnel from allies on a rotational basis, focusing on planning and exercising collective defense.
In addition to Estonian defense personnel, allied troops from Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Holland, Hungary, Norway, Poland, the UK and the United States are taking part in the work of the NATO command element in Tallinn.
The NATO Response Force combines allied land, air, sea, and special forces units in a structure that makes it possible to deploy them quickly for a broad range of operations, including defense in case Article 5 is triggered, crisis management and disaster relief.
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