Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania will set up a joint battalion that will be involved in the NATO Response Force (NRF).
Each Baltic state will provide a company of slightly more than 100 soldiers for the battalion. The battalion will consist of three companies, and Estonians are also ready to provide additional elements. But on the whole, this is a joint project of the three Baltic states, with each country participating in it accordingly.
As for the timeline for setting up the joint Baltic battalion, all preparatory work might be completed in 2015, so that the battalion was operational by 2016. The creation of the new battalion will begin next year.
The NRF is a highly ready and technologically advanced multinational force made up of land, air, maritime and Special Operations Forces components that the Alliance can deploy quickly wherever needed.
The NRF is comprised of three parts: a command and control element from the NATO Command Structure; the Immediate Response Force, a joint force of around 13,000 high-readiness troops provided by Allies; and a Response Forces Pool, which can supplement the Immediate Response Force when necessary.
Representatives of the Latvian Defense Ministry said that the NRF must be able to respond to any emergency in any circumstances, and that it is therefore necessary to check its combat-effectiveness on a regular basis.
Latvia has been participating in the NRF since the second half of 2006.