As Russian actions across eastern Europe alarmed countries last year, NATO officials at a summit in Wales decided to take a new step: Forming a new military force designed to respond swiftly in the face of threats.

The Very High Readiness Joint Task Force will include about 5,000 troops primarily from France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Spain, with maritime, special operations and aviation units. It’s meant to give the rest of the 30,000 service members in NATO’s response force time to mobilize.

The high-readiness force will take a major step this month with part one of Operation Noble Jump. Running from April 1 to April 10, the exercise includes missions in the Czech Republic and the Netherlands, and marks the first time that the forces will practice rapid “orders to move,” NATO officials said.

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NATO released this video Thursday to help explain it:

Another part of Noble Jump will occur from June 9 to June 20 at the Zagan Military Training Area in Poland, officials said. It will be followed by Trident Juncture 2015, a military exercise in Italy, Spain and Portugal from Oct. 21 to Nov. 6.

U.S. troops have trained with the NATO Response Force, established in 2003, for years. In Latvia, for example, U.S. Marines joined troops from Lithuania, Luxembourg, Canada and Germany last month as part of a five-day training assignment. The Marines were part of the Black Sea Rotational Force, which cycles through the Baltic region regularly for training assignments on Russia’s western flank.

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Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, the commander of U.S. European Command and supreme allied commander of NATO operations, has said repeatedly that the whole NATO Response Force needs to be ready. He said at a forum in Brussels last month that NATO isn’t just establishing the high-readiness task force, but also working to speed up how the rest of the response force moves.

Breedlove told the House Armed Services Committee in February that Europe will be the primary contributor of land forces for the high-readiness task force, but the United States must contribute some troops to help with cohesiveness.

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