Taking over command from the 1st German Netherlands Corps (1GNC) for NATO's Land Component Command of the NATO Response Force, the British Army’s Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) officially commenced its duty on January 1, 2024.

With thousands of British Army soldiers on standby, they are poised to deploy rapidly as the initial response against potential threats to NATO members. Following the handover ceremony, Secretary of State for Defence Grant Shapps MP announced the UK's commitment to dispatch approximately 20,000 personnel, marking one of NATO's most significant deployments since the conclusion of the Cold War.

Leading NATO's Land Component Command's spearhead force is the UK's 7th Light Mechanised Brigade Combat Team - The Desert Rats. This brigade will also assume leadership of NATO's Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF), with the UK taking over from Germany in 2023. The VJTF, an integral part of NATO's larger Response Force (NRF), includes air, maritime, and special operations forces.

Established in response to Russia's actions in Crimea in 2014, the VJTF played a key role in the collective defense of the Alliance during Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022. In 2024, the VJTF land forces, led by The Desert Rats, will comprise around 6,000 troops and over 600 armored and protected mobility vehicles. The UK's contribution involves 4,200 troops from 55 units across the Field Army.

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