Jim Shannon – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Ministry of Defence

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Jim Shannon on 2016-01-27.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent steps his Department has taken in conjunction with NATO to ensure flexibility in NATO’s capacity to respond to hostile actions.

Mr Julian Brazier

The UK was one of the driving forces behind NATO’s Readiness Action Plan (RAP), agreed at the Wales Summit, which includes tripling the strength of the NATO Response Force (NRF); the creation of a Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) that is able to deploy at very short notice; and enhancing NATO’s Standing Naval Forces.

The UK is fully involved with NATO work to improve the movement of troops and logistic support to the enhanced NRF and VJTF although improvements to and development of road networks remain the responsibility of each member nation.

NATO Allies regularly discuss the progress of the RAP and the capabilities and deployability of our forces; we will do so again at the NATO Defence Ministerial meeting this month.

The UK will contribute to the VJTF in every year between now and 2021 including: a 1,000 strong battle group for the Spanish-led Land VJTF in 2016; we will act as the Land VJTF lead nation in 2017, with 3,000 UK personnel; and in 2020 we will provide a 1,000 battle group to the Polish-led VJTF