UK commits to lead NATO taskforce in 2024

Command of NATO’s “Highest Readiness Joint Task Force” is assumed by Germany until the end of 2023.

Britain said on Tuesday it would take command of NATO’s high-altitude force in 2024 and honor its commitment.

“The UK is ready to honor its commitment and take command of the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) in 2024. To suggest otherwise is completely wrong,” a UK Department of Health spokesperson said.

“NATO is currently reviewing its military plans and force model, which may affect the demands of alliance members,” the spokesman added.

Earlier today, internet media Britain’s delay had indicated that Germany could retain command of the VJTF beyond the required year.

Annual cycle

Since 2014, the response force has been strengthened by the creation of an elite spearhead called the “Very High Readiness Joint Task Force” (VJTF). As of early 2022, it had 20,000 combatants (including about 5,000 soldiers and a multinational ground force with elements of air, sea and special operations forces).

According to the coalition, the VJTF “continually undergoes exercises aimed at testing its readiness and responding to any crisis that may arise”. Based in their country, these soldiers are “permanently available and can be deployed in a matter of days to defend any country of the alliance.”

Administration of the VJTF is rotated annually between NATO countries: France assumed command in 2022, followed by Turkey and before Germany in 2023.

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