- Exercise Brilliant Arrow (25 August - 5 September, in Norway)
- Exercise Brilliant Mariner (25 September - 6 October, a maritime exercise staged in the Baltic Sea)
- Exercise Brilliant Sword (October, in Italy)
- Exercise Steadfast Jazz 2013 (from 2-9 November, in Latvia and Poland). "Several alliance nations, including the Baltic states and Poland, will participate in Exercise Steadfast Jazz. That exercise will bring together air, land, maritime and Special Forces components, as well as the headquarters staff from Joint Force Command Brunssum, which will lead NATO joint operations next year." (Source: "Exercises, Training to Posture NATO for Future Challenges", US Department of Defense, 5 August 2013).
- Exercise Arccade Fusion (16-29 November)
- List of Participants
On 15 April 2014, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that the Ukraine crisis has amplified the need to strenghten cooperation between NATO, the European Union and otehr partners: "We need to train and exercise more together -- for instance, the NATO Response Force and the EU Battle groups -- so that we stand ready for whatever the future may bring."
On 5 February 2015 (just before NATO Defense Ministers meeting), Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is about to suggest to the Defense Ministers: "We will strengthen our existing NATO Response Force.[...]. The current size is around 13,000. I expect that they will decide on a force which will be around 30,000 and part of that enhanced NATO Response Force, I expect will be the establishment of this Spearhead Force, which I expect will be of a size of around 5,000. And this Spearhead Force will have some lead elements which will be able to deploy within a very very short notice. We speak about a few days. [...] But this is going to be decided later on today and its too early to tell the final conclusions." (NATO Source)
The Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) concept - this Spearhead Force - will be tested and refined during 2015. "A series of exercises, trials, and evaluations will be conducted throughout 2015 in order to develop, refine and implement this concept [...] With the introduction of the VJTF concept, the NRF will have a new structure". (Source: NATO ACO: NRF/VJTF Fact Sheet, 9 March 2015)
In order to train and test the NATO Response Force, Exercise Trident Juncture 2015 (TRJE15) will take place from 28 September to 06 November 2015 in multiple locations across the Alliance including Italy, Portugal and Spain. Over 25,000 troops are expected to participate in the exercise. (Source: NATO Allied joint Force Command Brunssum)\
"The ongoing recasting of NATO’s Rapid Response Force and the creation of a brigade-size force able to deploy in 48 hours (the “spearhead” or “very high readiness joint task force” – VJTF) raises a question of primary importance, namely that of what authority should decide deployment.": this point was discussed by the NATO Parliamentary Assembly on 18 May 2015 at Budapest (Online source available to NATO staff only; 'NATO/ASSEMBLY: Members of Parliament tackle question of authority relevant for authorising deployment of “Spearhead” NRF' in "Europe Diplomacy & Defence", no. 796 dated 18 May 2015)