NATO Secretary General in Poland for key ‘Spearhead Force’ exercise

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg arrived in Poland on Wednesday (17 June 2015) to see Allied troops in action as they test the capabilities of NATO’s new very high readiness Spearhead Force during "Noble Jump," its first deployment exercise.

Mr. Stoltenberg, together with Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Philip Breedlove and Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, General Jean-Paul Paloméros, spoke to troops from all nine NATO Allies who are taking part in the exercise at the Zagan military training area.

"I have met troops from nine countries, working as one in this important exercise," said the Secretary General. He stressed that the purpose of the exercise was to show NATO's readiness to defend all Allies against any threat in a changed security environment both to the east and the south of NATO's borders. He made clear that the measures taken by NATO are defensive, proportional, and fully in line with the Alliance's international commitments. 

Exercise Noble Jump, which started on 9 June, is testing the quick deployment abilities of high readiness units from across the Alliance and their ability to operate together as part of the ‘Spearhead Force’, also known as the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF). The force will also test other capabilities, including tactical manoeuvres.

The Secretary General, along with the defence ministers of Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Poland, will observe training manoeuvres on Thursday. Units assigned to the VJTF were given orders to deploy on 9 June and will exercise until 19 June. Over 2,000 troops from nine NATO nations are participating in the exercise, which continues the process of testing and refining the force. Czech and Dutch air mobile troops, German and Norwegian mechanized infantry, Polish and Lithuanian special forces, Belgian artillery, US helicopters and a Hungarian civil military cooperation unit are all playing a role.

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