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Germany takes command of NATO VJTF

Germany has taken command of VJTF 2023. (Bundeswehr)

Germany takes command of the NATO Response Force (NRF) Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) on 1 January, the alliance announced on its website on 28 December.

Germany takes over the leadership of VJTF 2023 from France, which led the force in 2022 during its first ever collective defence mission − to Romania − following Russia's invasion of Ukraine on 24 February. The French-led VJTF 2022, including its Belgian contingent, formed the basis for the NATO enhanced Vigilance Activity battlegroup in Romania.

In 2023, VJTF land forces will number approximately 11,500 troops, with the German 10th Panzerdivision's (Armoured Division's) Panzergrenadierbrigade (Armoured Infantry Brigade) 37 at its core. In addition to Germany, eight NATO allies contribute to VJTF 2023: Belgium, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, and Slovenia. Among the major German units in VJTF 2023 are Panzerbataillon (Armoured Battalion) 393 with Leopard 2A7 tanks, Artillerielehrbataillon (Artillery Demonstration Battalion) 345 with Panzerhaubitze (PzH 2000) self-propelled howitzers, Versorgungsbataillon (Supply Battalion) 131, and Transporthubschrauberregiment (Transport Helicopter Regiment) 30 with NH90 helicopters. For the first time, Germany also leads the VJTF's special forces command.

The Royal Netherlands Army's 13 Light Brigade is contributing its 17th Mechanised Battalion to VJTF 2023.

The Norwegian Army's rapid reaction force is on standby throughout 2023 for the VJTF, to which Norway is contributing its Telemark Battalion, a medical company, an artillery battery, an engineer company, a combat training company, a military police troop, a reconnaissance unit, and a Role 2 hospital.

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