NATO, concerned about growing Russian military aggression, has sped up efforts to create a rapid reaction force to help out new NATO members in East Europe. This new organization is called Spearhead Force and current plans call for a division size organization with air, naval and special operations contingents backing three Spearhead Force brigades. Each of these brigades would have about 5,000 troops and one would have units ready to move within 48 hours with the rest of the brigade moving within a week. At that point portions of the other two brigades would be on the move. The major contributors to the Spearhead force will be the United States France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and Britain. Nearly all the ground troops will be from European NATO members while the U.S. will provide a lot of specialized electronic and naval forces only they have.
The Spearhead Force could be used to slow down disrupt Russian aggression with ground and air forces (and naval ones if needed) until more forces can be mobilized. NATO members are reviving Cold War era defense plans because Russia has again become a threat in the east. It’s a different threat this time because during the Cold War NATO was looking at an initial Russian invasion force of over 30 divisions followed by two or three times that number once they these reserve units were mobilized and deployed. These days Russia can’t even muster that many brigades. In the past there were few NATO members (like Norway and Turkey) that even bordered the old Soviet Union. Now there are many more, including the major Russian Cold War “allies” in East Europe who are now members of NATO. The Baltic States are particularly vulnerable and the Spearhead Force is being created in large part to reassure these neighbors of Russia that NATO membership can deliver the promised security.
Since it will take over a year to organize and train the 30,000 personnel for the Spearhead Force, an interim brigade is being put together right now. The Netherlands and Norway have announced they are contributing troops for this as well as several other nations who have not gone public with their participation yet.