The United States Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR) is set to open a forward-based operations centre in Albania, according to Prime Minister Edi Rama.
The announcement was made on Thursday (6 January) and the headquarters will function on a rotational basis. According to the SOCEUR website, the entity which is currently based in Germany will provide increased coordination with Albanian allies, access to transportation hubs in the Balkans, and more logistical flexibility.
Rama said, “this is fantastic news, it is an expression of a very high credibility and a very close cooperation.”
US special forces operatives are highly trained and are kitted out with the most advanced weapons and communications equipment. They are often called in for counterterrorism or reconnaissance missions and can more easily infiltrate enemy lines.
Albania has been a member of NATO since 2009 and remains a strong ally of both the alliance and the US.
Commander Major General David Tabor from SOCEUR said they would be in Albania to respond to threats.
“The ability to move and train rapidly within the Balkans, in close coordination with other allied and partner forces, made Albania the best location for this effort,” he said.
“SOCEUR is uniquely committed to boosting our relations with allies and partners to counter malicious influence, to build interoperability, to respond quickly to emerging threats and, if necessary, to defeat aggression.”