Anders Fogh Rasmussen. (Interpressnews.)

TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia will join NATO Response Force (NRF) in 2015, NATO’s Secretary General says.

At a monthly press conference, Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that from next month the alliance will conduct a major exercise in Poland and the Baltics states. Rasmussen explained that its purpose is to make sure that the NRF, NATO’s rapid reaction force, is ready to defend any ally, deploy anywhere and deal with threats.

The Secretary General remarked that Georgia has offered to join NRF in the future and the offer has now been accepted.

“I would therefore anticipate that Georgian troops would be made available for the force as of 2015,” he said. “This, again, would be a first: the first time Georgia has joined NATO’s rapid-reaction team.”

Also Ukraine and Finland have offered to join the exercise and have been accepted.

“So they will train alongside us – and will then have met the requirements to deploy with next year’s NATO Response Force.”

NRF is a force of up to 25 000 troops for rapid deployment, used for collective defense, crisis management or stabilization, or as an initial entry force before the primary deployment. Troops train together and then serve in NRF for six months, until they are replaced by a new force.

According to NATO’s official website, NRF is comprised of three parts: ‘command and control element from the NATO Command Structure; the Immediate Response Force, a joint force of about 13 000 high-readiness troops provided by Allies; and a Response Forces Pool, which can supplement the Immediate Response Force when necessary.’