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UK to send 1,000 troops and Typhoon jets to Baltic states

The UK is to send up to 1,000 troops to a high readiness force and deploy four RAF Typhoon jets for air policing in the Baltic States to boost NATO’s collective security, the Defence Secretary has announced.

RAF Eurofighter Typhoon Credit: Geoffrey Lee/RAF/MoD Crown copyright/PA Wire

Michael Fallon says the UK will be the lead nation in the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) in 2017 and then on rotation thereafter. This will see the UK contributing manpower to two regional headquarters in Poland and Romania and to force integration units in the three Baltic States, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria.

The UK will also send four RAF Typhoon jets to support the NATO Baltic Air policing mission again in 2015.

NATO’s credibility in the face of the security challenges we face depends on everyone playing their part to implement the decisions taken at Wales last year.

The Readiness Action Plan demonstrates the Alliance’s commitment to reinforce our collective defence but strong words must be backed up with firm action. That is why I am delighted to announce that the UK will lead the VJTF in 2017 and contribute to the Baltic Air Policing mission again in order to put the Plan into practice.

– Michael Fallon, Defence Secretary