June 14th, 2006 20:05 EST
NATO Tests Expeditionary Force
A major exercise in the Cape Verde Islands, 15-28 June, will test the readiness of NATO’s cutting-edge Response Force to carry out missions anywhere required at very short notice.
Exercise Steadfast Jaguar is the first time that the various components – land, air and sea – come together in one exercise.
It is also the last test of the Force before it is due to become fully operational in October this year.
Once fully operational, the Response Force will give the Alliance the ability to deploy up to 25,000 troops within five days anywhere in the world to tackle the full range of missions, from humanitarian relief to major combat operations.
Far from home, little support
The exercise location – the Cape Verde Archipelago - was chosen specifically to test the Force’s ability to carry out complex missions far away from home with little support from the host nation.
The fictitious scenario includes a demonstration of force and a relief operation following a natural disaster.
Some 7,000 sailors, soldiers and airmen from the Response Force are taking part in the exercise.