NATO activates response force in historic first as leaders agree to bolster eastern forces after invasion

Estonia Ukraine Invasion
Posted at 1:47 PM, Feb 25, 2022

U.S. President Joe Biden and his NATO counterparts have agreed to send thousands of troops backed by air and naval support to help protect allies in Europe after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Speaking Friday after chairing a summit in Brussels, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the leaders decided to send parts of the NATO Response Force and elements of a quickly deployable spearhead unit to the alliance's eastern flank.

It's the first time the response force has been used in the defense of NATO allies. Stoltenberg didn't say how many troops would be deployed but confirmed that the move would involve significant land, sea and air power.

NATO leaders saidin a statement, “We will continue to take all measures and decisions required to ensure the security and defense of all allies.” The statement said, “We will make all deployments necessary to ensure strong and credible deterrence and defense across the alliance, now and in the future.”

On Friday Germany announced that it plans to deploy troops and a Patriot anti-missile system to Slovakia, another NATO member state.