NATO plans to significantly increase its quick-reaction force “to well over 300,000” soldiers, the head of the alliance said Monday.
During a news conference on Monday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the military alliance plans to increase its Response Force on its eastern flank.
“We will enhance our battlegroups in the eastern part of the Alliance up to brigade-levels. We will transform the NATO Response Force and increase the number of our high readiness forces to well over 300,000,” Stoltenberg said at the news conference. “We will also boost our ability to reinforce in crisis and conflict.”
Stoltenberg said that the boost in military units will also include more pre-positioned equipment, stockpiles of military supplies, more forward-deployed capabilities, upgraded defense plans and strengthened command and control.
“These troops will exercise together with home defense forces, and they will become familiar with local terrain, facilities, and our new pre-positioned stocks,” Stoltenberg said. “So that they can respond smoothly and swiftly to any emergency. Together, this constitutes the biggest overhaul of our collective deterrence and defense since the Cold War.”
NATO leaders are at an alliance summit in Madrid this week to decide on a new strategic concept, which will address the alliance’s future plans for political and military development in the region.
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