NATO Force Integration Units have a key role in the ongoing military exercises taking place across the Alliance’s eastern flank. National and Multi-national forces participate in NATO exercises in order to test responsiveness and improve interoperability. Executing training scenarios helps prepare NATO commands and forces for peace, crisis and conflict operations. By assisting with exercises and coordinating training among NATO Allies, the NFIUs enhance the readiness of our forces.
Six small headquarters or NATO Force Integration Units (NFIUS) were activated on September 1, delivering on promise of adaptation measures under the Readiness Action Plan (RAP) agreed by President Obama and the other 27 Alliance leaders Wales Summit in 2014.
These first six multinational command and control units on the territories of Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania will constitute a visible and persistent NATO presence in these six Allied nations. Tomorrow, Sept. 3, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg will formally inaugurate the NFIUs in a ceremony at Lithuania’s NFIU in Vilnius. On the same day, Bulgaria and Romania will also celebrate the opening of their NFIUs.
What do NFIUs do?
Support Collective Defense Planning
The placement of six NATO Force Integration Units across the eastern flank is the most significant reinforcement of NATO’s collective defense since the end of the Cold War. Staffed with about 20 national and 20 NATO specialists, each high-readiness command center works in coordination with national military authorities and NATO multinational forces. These headquarters have key role in defense planning and assisting potential reinforcements.
Facilitate Rapid Deployment of Allied Forces
NFIUs ensure that NATO’s high-readiness forces can deploy to the region as quickly as possible and work together effectively to help keep our nations safe. As reception centers for the 5,000-strong rapid reaction “Spearhead Force,” the NFIUS deliver on the promise of the Readiness Action Plan (RAP) that guarantees the Alliance is ready to respond swiftly and strongly to new security challenges. The RAP addresses risks and threats on Alliance borders from the east, southeast and the south.
Yesterday’s activation demonstrates that the implementation of RAP is on track and on time.
NATO is increasing the speed and strength or its rapid-reaction force which will consist of 40,000 troops. The Spearhead Force – Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) – can respond within as little as 48 hours. If the NATO Response Force (NRF) or VJTF are activated, NFIUs will be of hosting the forces and facilitating further movements. The NFIUs work with host nations to identify logistical networks, transportation routes and supporting infrastructure to ensure NATO’s high-readiness forces can deploy to the region as soon as possible when needed.
Assist in Coordination of Multinational Training and Exercises