Updated: 17-Jul-2003 July 2003

16 July 2003


Response force buildup on target

New NATO command structure
New command structure and capabilities for NATO
Transcript of the press point by NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson and the Chairman of the Political and Security Committee of the European Union
Key links
The first force generation conference for the new NATO Response Force was held on 16 July at NATO’s European military headquarters in Belgium, marking a milestone in the creation of the force.

The force generation conference is the first step in all NATO operations. It matches the force requirements with what is offered by the nations, to see if all the requirements are met.

The results of the conference are very encouraging,” said Admiral Rainer Feist, Deputy NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe, and chairman of the conference. “We can’t talk about definite numbers and figures at this point, but with the great enthusiasm of NATO nations we will be able to meet the challenging deadline to stand up an initial credible force, based on an ‘Initial Entry Brigade’, with air and maritime components, by 15 October 2003.”

The NATO Response Force concept was endorsed at the Prague Summit, held in November 2002, and approved by NATO Ministers of Defence on 12 June.

The purpose of the force is to provide NATO with a robust and credible high readiness capability, which is fully trained and certified as a joint and combined arms force able to deploy quickly to participate in the full spectrum of NATO missions wherever required, expeditionary in character and design.

At this stage, the forces for the first two rotations of the Response Force were discussed, covering the period from 15 October 2003 until 30 June 2004.