On Thursday, Jan. 13, the handover-takeover of the mission was formally acknowledged with a ceremony held at the Citadel of Lille, the home base of the Headquarters.
RRC-FRA's preparation for this role began in 2020 and culminated last October during exercise Steadfast Jupiter 21 in Stavanger, Norway. Exercise Steadfast Jupiter 21 was NATO's largest and most challenging command post exercise for 2021.
"In 2022, the RRC-FRA will maintain its operational level and its state of readiness by continuing its training and preparedness activities within the framework of the NRF," said Lieutenant General Pierre Gillet, Commander Rapid Reaction Corps France.
Rapid Reaction Corps France assumes responsibility as NATO Response Force (NRF) Land Component for all of 2022. The Rapid Reaction Corps France (RRC-FRA) took over the land responsibility of the NRF22 from NATO Rapid Deployable Corps Turkey (NRDC-TUR), who had the mission for all of 2021.
In 2022, the RRC-FRA will be under the lead of Allied Joint Force Command (JFC) Brunssum, the Netherlands. General Jörg Vollmer, the commander of JFC Brunssum, will have under his authority the land component, air component and maritime component of NRF 22.
"Our task as NRF is to safeguard NATO and to deter any possible aggressor," said General Vollmer.
At the tactical level, JFC Brunssum is supported by a number of component commanders drawn from NATO nations. The Land Component commander for 2022 is Headquarters Rapid Reaction Corps (France), the Maritime Component Commander is Commander United Kingdom Strike Force, and the Air Component Commander is NATO Allied Air Command at Ramstein Airbase in Germany, supported by the French JFAC.
The NRF consists of the full spectrum of military effects, including Special Operations Forces, Counter-CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear) Forces and CIMIC (Civil-Military Cooperation). Command of Special Operations Forces is provided by Italian Joint Special Forces Operations Headquarters (ITA-SOCC), Counter-CBRN is provided by a French CBRN Battalion and CIMIC by the Multinational CIMIC Group, based in Italy.
The NRF is a highly ready and technologically advanced multinational force made up of land, air, maritime and Special Forces components that the Alliance can deploy quickly to wherever it is needed. Its mission is to provide a rapid demonstration of force and the early establishment of NATO military presence in support of an Article 5 or Crisis Response Operation and to be a catalyst for transformation of capabilities in the Alliance.
"History teaches us that weakness invites aggression," said Lieutenant General Roger L. Cloutier, Commander of Allied Land Command, during the ceremony.
The standards for NRF participation are high and all soldiers participating in NRF 22 have successfully completed an arduous NATO exercise package in order to integrate and standardise the various national contingents. LANDCOM conducted final evaluation and certification for RRC-FRA and declared it certified after exercise Steadfast Jupiter 21.