Turkey transfers head of highest NATO readiness force to France

The Turkish delegation handed over the head of NATO’s highest military force to France on Saturday, the bloc announced on Wednesday.

France will take the leadership of the Very High Level Preparedness Joint Force (VJTF) from January 1, 2022, NATO announced in a statement.

“The Very High Readiness Joint Task Force is a substantial contribution to our collective defense, and France’s leadership is a strong demonstration of commitment and capability,” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg .

“In a time of unprecedented security challenges, there must be no misunderstanding about NATO‘s resolve: we stand in solidarity to defend and protect all allies,” he added.

The VJTF is the highest readiness element of NATO’s 40,000-strong response force, which allows troops to be deployed within days.

It was established in 2014 in response to the Russian aggression against Ukraine and the crises in the Middle East.

The leadership of the high-readiness force changes every year from country to country, and several countries are contributing troops to the multinational force.

In 2022, a Franco-German brigade of 3,500 men will form the core of the VJTF, while Poland, Spain and Portugal will also join the troops.

Turkey took over in 2021 and Germany will take over from France in 2023.

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