Spain will lead new NATO force

SPAIN is to lead a NATO military unit set up to be deployed quickly in areas where major crises break out, it was announced this week.

The decision to organise a 5,000-member rapid reaction force was made at a meeting of NATO defence ministers in Brussels, with Spain supplying 4,000 of the land troops making up the advance team, according to El Pais.

“The essence of this force is its deterrent capability,” said the Spanish defence minister, Pedro Morenes. “NATO needs to have a unit that will show the world that its reaction can be strong and immediate.”

The new team is to be backed by special forces and air and sea units, and will come under Spanish command in 2016. In total, the NATO Response Force will consist of around 30,000 troops.

Morenes said that 3,000 of the Spanish troops will be sent in from different brigades and another 1,000 will come from the Betora base in Valencia.

Secretary General of NATO, General Jens Stoltenberg, said: “If a crisis arises, (control and command posts) will ensure that national and NATO forces from across the alliance are able to act as one from the start.

“They will make rapid deployment easier, support planning for collective defence and help coordinate training and exercises.”

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