UK to take command of NATO's Rapid Response Force in January 2024
NATO High Readiness Joint Task Force (Photo: EPA)

From January 1, 2024, UK forces will lead NATO Rapid Response Force, reported the British Ministry of Defense.

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The country is taking over command of the NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) from Germany, which took over the force in 2023. The United Kingdom previously chaired the task force in 2017.

In 2024 the ground forces of the VJTF will number about 6,000 service members, based on the UK's 7th Light Mechanised Brigade.

"By heading up NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force in 2024, we are taking another leading position in the Alliance, sending a clear message that Britain is stepping up to our global defence commitments as NATO enters its 75th year," said the British Minister of Defense Grant Shapps.

The alliance's Rapid Response Force was formed after Russia's occupation of Crimea in 2014 and first deployed for collective defense after Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

On December 23, Britain offered to support Ukrainians with scrapped London cars.

On December 24, British Foreign Minister David Cameron promised that his country would not reduce military aid to Ukraine and, moreover, would transfer it to a multi-year basis.

On December 26, media reported that six Ukrainian pilots had completed an initial training program in Britain aimed at training them to fly F-16 fighter jets.