16 October 2003
NATO Response Force Inaugurates Air, Maritime Components
Oct. 15: NRF will provide NATO with a rapid reaction
The United States welcomed the inauguration of the first two components
of the new NATO Response Force (NRF) October 15 in The Netherlands.
The NRF is part of ongoing NATO transformation to meet the new
threats from global terrorism, according U.S. Ambassador to NATO
The NRF -- first proposed by U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald
Rumsfeld in September 2002 and approved by the NATO heads of state
at the Prague Summit two months later -- will number up to 22,000
personnel with joint air, maritime and land components, able to
deploy within five days.
Following is the press release from the US Mission to NATO:
October 15, 2003
INAUGURATION OF NATO RESPONSE FORCE
Statement by Ambassador Nicholas Burns
The United States welcomes today's inauguration in The Netherlands
of the new NATO Response Force. The NATO Response Force is an
important, innovative new military capability for NATO, and further
evidence of NATO's on-going transformation to meet the new threats
from global terrorism.
The NATO Response Force concept is expeditionary in character
and design. It will be fully trained and certified as a joint and
combined armed force, able to deploy quickly and wherever required
to participate in the full spectrum of NATO missions. It will give
NATO the unique capability, which it has never had before, of reacting
swiftly and decisively to respond to any crisis threatening our
The air and maritime components being inaugurated today are the
first two components of the NATO Response Force. At full capability,
the NRF will number up to 22,000 personnel with joint air, maritime
and land components, able to deploy within 5 days.
Proposed by U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld last September
in Warsaw and approved by the NATO Heads of State at the Prague
Summit in November 2002, the NATO Response Force will provide the
Alliance a strong and credible high readiness capability."