Britain will assume its leadership in 2024 rapid reaction force VJTF (Very High Readiness Joint Task Force) of NATO, putting thousands of soldiers on alert.

The said force was constituted after its annexation Crimea from Russia in 2014, and the leading role is taken on a rotating basis each year by its member countries NATO.

Britain will take over the reins of administration from Germany on January 1, taking over as head of the VJTF again after 2017.

The change of command of NATO’s VJTF force comes as the Ukraine still fighting against the Russian invaders. The war in Ukraine is approaching two years since it began, and no one can predict how much longer it may last, since the counteroffensive launched by the Ukrainian armed forces over the summer failed to change the balance on the battlefield.

“The UK is at the heart of NATO. With her administration NATO’s Joint Very High Readiness Force in 2024we are taking yet another leadership role in the Alliance, sending a clear signal that Britain is increasing its defense commitments globally as NATO enters its 75th year,” said UK Defense Secretary Grant Shapps.

“His armed forces United Kingdom are ready, at all times, to defend our allies and protect Britain’s national interests,” he assured.

The British Defense Secretary also underlined that “the world is more dangerous and contentious than it was decades ago and we need NATO more than ever. The UK and its allies are committed to supporting NATO and what it stands for.”