– Associated Press – TIRANA, Albania —
To guarantee the peace and stability in the Balkans, it is opened the first US permanent military presence in Albania.The U.S. Special Operations Command Europe opened its forward-based headquarters in Albania on Wednesday, aiming at enhancing regional stability, its head Maj. Gen. David Tabor said.
“A 12- to 15-member Task Force Balkans group will be based in Tirana to coordinate joint and combined exchange training and civil military support element engagements”, said Tabor adding that Albania’s central location in the Balkans was behind the decision to open the command there.
It will be the first-ever U.S. permanent military presence in Albania, said U.S. Ambassador in Tirana Yuri Kim.
Albanian senior officials said that opening such a U.S. military office is more important now.
The opening of the command in Tirana “came at the proper moment, at the culmination of the insecurity due to the gloomy situation in the continent after Russian aggression,” said Defense Minister Niko Peleshi.