For the NATO Response Force (NRF) 2016 rotation JFC Brunssum is the designated and certified Stand-By Command i.e. if the North Atlantic Council activates the NRF at any time during 2016 JFC Brunssum will provide the Commander and necessary command and control elements. Certified NRF 2016 forces are held on stand-by for 12 months to deploy on operations.
Since 2012 the NRF rotational period lasts 12 months starting 1st January. Operational command of the NRF alternates annually between the two NATO Joint Force Commands (JFC) - Brunssum, in the Netherlands and Naples, in southern Italy.
Smart use of resources
The Standards for NRF are high and participation in the force is preceded by a six month NATO exercise program in order to integrate and standardize the various national contingents. Generally, nations carry out a pre-training period for the NATO exercises of between 6-18 months. To improve continuity and gain more output from lengthy and arduous preparation, nations now provide their forces for an entire year on stand-by.
The Alliance takes great care to focus limited resources wisely. By pooling forces and sharing capabilities NATO balances its political and military needs in difficult economic times.
Security with humanitarian effort
The NRF can be rapidly tailored to meet the needs of a wide variety of missions, wherever in the world a crisis emerges. Elements of the NRF helped in the provision of security to the 2004 Summer Olympics, in Athens, and deployed to support the Afghan presidential elections in September 2004.
Since its inception in 2003, the NRF has proved a unique and highly capable military force with a strong focus on the humanitarian side of crises. In 2005, the NRF was used in a humanitarian assistance role following the Pakistan earthquake when NATO forces delivered aid and helped in reconstruction efforts.
Drawing upon its inherent flexibility, the NRF can also be used for developmental, experimentation, implementation and conceptual validation tasks in response to new/emerging operational challenges, such as cyber or missile defence.