In response to the situation in the Ukraine several news outlets have reported that NATO will establish a new expeditionary reaction force od divisional strength.
Comprising approximately 10,000 personnel with the building blocks to grow it is said to be British led with elements from Denmark, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Norway and the Netherlands. Canada has also expressed an interest in joining, apparently.
The force will be modelled on the UK-French Combined Joint Expeditionary Force (CJEF), due to be operational by 2016 and will undertake a series of regular exercises and deployments, ‘out East’
What is interesting is that there is no (as yet) participation from other NATO members like Poland, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania. Also notable by their absence, France, Germany, Italy and Turkey.
Details are sketchy so not sure where in the organisation it will sit or if it will dovetail with Eurocorps, the Franco German Brigade, the UK French CJEF or existing NATO Response Force and Rapidly Deployable Corps Headquarters (9 of, including HQ ARRC based in the UK)
It is almost like a return to ACE Mobile Force (LAND) or AML(L) that ran from the sixties until disbanded in 2002, certainly has a whiff of BAOR about it.
A less charitable person might see this as a spot of flimsy window dressing and for those of a cynical disposition, an attempt by the British Army to stave off SDSR 2015 personnel cuts.
We also have to resolve those thorny questions of funding, command slots and locations.
An interesting one to watch though and a measured ratcheting up.