The US Air Force is in the thick of NATO’s first major exercise for its new NATO Response Force. Steadfast Jaguar, which kicked off last week and runs through today, comprises more than 7,000 airmen, sailors, and soldiers. More than 200 alliance officials and journalists observed a “major show of force” that included USAF F-16s and Spanish Harrier fighters striking mock terrorist camps. The locale—Cape Verde, a group of islands in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa—was chosen primarily because of its distance from the alliance’s normal area of operations. Most participants form NRF-7, which starts its stand-by phase in July. NRFs are being trained as multinational forces ready for deployment within five days for up to 30 days.
While some of the Air Force's newly announced changes will happen quickly, it may take most of Chief of Staff Gen. David W. Allvin's tenure in the job to accomplish the rest, he said in a Brookings Institution event Feb. 28.