NATO Ready and Waiting

US Air Forces Europe airmen recently participated in NATO’s Brilliant Arrow exercise that is designed to certify that alliance members’ air forces are prepared for a year-long NATO Response Force readiness period next year. Hosted by Germany, 1,200 allied personnel from Belgium, Germany, Lithuania, Turkey, and the United States practiced integrated command and control and combined flight operations Sept. 12-23. More than 30 aircraft, including 28 fighters, operated from 15 locations during the drills. Agreed to in 2003, the NATO Response Force is a rotating high-readiness force comprised of air, land, and sea forces contributed by member countries. Next year, NRF rotations will change from the traditional six-month stand-by period, to a 12-month alert. The next NRF rotation begins on Jan. 1. (Mildenhall report by SrA. Ethan Morgan and SrA. Jerilyn Quintanilla) (German air force release and second release) (NATO webpage on NRF)