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Feb 25 2022

SACEUR statement on the activation of the NATO Response Force

SHAPE, Belgium – Over the past few months, NATO Allies and European partners have remained unified in opposition to threats against peace and security in Europe. In response to Russia's unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine, the Alliance has operationally aligned its maritime, land, air, space, and cyber forces to defend our NATO sovereignty.

With the response plans approved by the North Atlantic Council and in line with the evolving security environment, we are now employing elements of the NATO Response Force.

This is an historic moment and the very first time the Alliance has employed these high readiness forces in a deterrence and defence role. They represent a flexible, combat credible force that can be employed in multiple ways and we are utilizing fully their inherent agility.

These deterrence measures are prudent and enhance our speed, responsiveness and capability to shield and protect the one billion citizens we swore to protect.

We are grateful to our allies Canada and the United States for their recent commitments to deploy an additional 7,460 troops, including an armored brigade combat team, artillery units, a naval frigate, and surveillance aircraft, to support this Alliance-wide effort.

As NATO establishes this enhanced vigilance on the Alliance's eastern flank, Allied military forces will posture and exercise to increase our readiness and interoperability. Your soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines stand ready to protect every meter of Allied territory.

We admire the courage and tenacity of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and citizens in defending their country.

The Alliance remains steadfast in our collective commitment to shield and protect each other. Moving forward, we are prepared to leverage the strength of all our forces to defend the Alliance.

-General Tod D. Wolters, Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR)

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