Albania designated by USA as Special Operations “Forward HQ”
Defence Redefined
Published on 09/01/2022 at 15:30

US Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR) announced on Thursday 6/1 that its forward-based headquarters will be located in Albania, “as part of an ongoing effort in enhancing Special Operations Forces capabilities as a keystone for regional stability”.

Specifically, SOCEUR stressed that “the location of the forward HQ in Albania will provide increased interoperability with our Albanian allies, important access to transportation hubs in the Balkans, and greater logistical flexibility.” It also added that the location reduces travel times and increases the flexibility of both special operations and conventional forces in the region.

“The ability to rapidly move and train within the Balkans, in close coordination with other allied and partner forces, made Albania the best location for this effort,” said Major General David H. Tabor, Commander of Special Operations Command Europe. “Albania remains an important NATO Ally and a valued security partner, both regionally and globally.”

Albania’s Prime Minister Edi Rama hailed the decision as an “expression of [the country’s] very high credibility and expression of a very close cooperation.”

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Albania, a NATO member since 2009, established its diplomatic relations with the United States in 1991 after almost five decades in communism and isolation. Since then, the countries have maintained close relationships with each other.

Milestones of this cooperation are considered the joint action between the USA and Albania since 2000 as peacekeepers in Bosnia, Albania’s decision to send troops to Afghanistan in 2002 and to Iraq in 2003, as well as Albania’s support to fight Islamic State (ISIS), by providing free Soviet-era weapons and ammunition to Iraqi Kurds.

A Joint Declaration on Strategic Partnership between Albania and the United States was signed in 2015, constituting the cornerstone of cooperation and coordination between them in global and regional issues as well as in a bilateral agenda.

Source: Balkan Insight

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