Inside One Of Britain's Leading NATO Contributions

Forces News has been given special access to Imjin Barracks - Britain's leading contribution to NATO.

Forces News has been given special access to Imjin Barracks - one of Britain's leading contributions to NATO.

The Gloucestershire Barracks are home to the alliance's Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC), made up of 60% British soldiers.

Founded in 1992, British soldiers work alongside military personnel from 23 nations including the US, Spain, France and Denmark.

In the past, the ARRC have been deployed to Bosnia, Kosovo and twice to Afghanistan in a variety of different roles

They are described as a rapidly deployable regiment, ready to respond to crises or NATO operations. 

Colonel Dickie Head, Chief Ground Liaison Officer at the HQ, said:

"We provide a capability of command that can deliver a control function in different scenarios and theatres.

"For example, we could deploy to conduct operations not only high-intensity warfare to insist a nation with providing security in an area that's providing difficult for them to control."

ARRC Exercise "Act Of Reassurance" to NATO Allies
Twenty-three different nationalities work together in the ARRC. (Image: Allied Rapid Reaction Corps).

If the ARRC are called into an operation, they can call on a pool of soldiers from across NATO member countriues.

The NATO hierarchy decide what needs to be done and the ARRC carry it out.

They focus on rapid and reaction, dealing with threats as they emerge with necessary speed like their slogan: 'unified, integrated, ready'.

Colonel Head said: "On a professional level, there's a lot we can gain from this.

"It can be a little bit harder initially to staff your way through a problem, talking to 23 different nationalities.

"The combined effect when it's put into operation, to have a coherent argument and all the backing from those 23 nations is really, really effective."


NATO training exercises are diverse and tailored to help prepare the ARRC for whatever they might encounter while on operation.

Recently, the Corps took part in Exercise Yellow Cross in the Czech Republic - designed to test their ability to decontaminate or function in areas affected by Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) exposure.