Military of Albania

ALBANIAN ARMED FORCES
Forcat e Armatosura të Shqipërisë
Minister of Defence Mr. Fatmir Mediu
Armed forces commander Lieutenant General Luan Hoxha
Military age18 years of age required for military service (2006)
Major international suppliersUSA,Germany and Italy
Availability age 18-49: 78,800 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures
Dollar figure $235 million (2007 est.)
Percent of GDP 2.4% (2007 est.)


Albanian Armed Forces (AAF) (Albanian: Forcat e Armatosura të Shqipërisë (FASH), is made up of the General Staff Headquarters and consists of the Albanian Joint Forces Command, the Albanian Support Command and AL-TRADOC (Albanian Training and Doctrine Command).

The Albanian Joint Forces Command Headquarter is situated in Durres. This Command includes all the Operational Forces of the Albanian Navy Brigade, the Albanian Air Brigade, an Infantry Rapid Reaction Brigade plus a Commando Reggiment, and the Area Support Brigade. The present Comanding General of JFC is Major General Shpëtim Spahiu. The Albanian Army is mostly supported by the United States, Germany, The Netherlands, Italy, United Kingdom, France,Belgium and Spain.

Since the last years and after several major reequipment programs, the Albanian Armed Forces has launched a 10-year reform program sponsored and supervised by the U.S. Defence Department to become technologically advanced and professional by 2010.

Peacekeeping

  • Southeast European Brigade SEEBRIG-- created in 1998 and comprised of Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Greece, Italy, Slovenia, Romania, Turkey and the United States. NATO is expected to give its final approval during the first half of next year to make the force fully operational.
  • NATO peacekeeping force in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  • Today the Albanian army participates in peacekeeping missions in Afghanistan and Iraq with nearly 230 peacekeepers serving as part of the Special Operations Battalion "Commando".

History

The story of the Albanian Army starts in ancient times when the Albanian lands were called Illyria. Illyria was divided into many kingdoms each having their own army. They eventually fought many wars with the Romans, who tried to occupy Illyria. Great wars were fought between the Illyrian kingdoms such as the Ardia, Dalmatia, Darda. A historical battle took place between the Ardians commanded by the King Agron and the Romans. The King was killed in the war and afterwards his wife Queen Teuta took command. The Adrians won many wars but they lost at the end because some of their generals became traitors, bought by the Romans. Another great King and commander was Bardhyl king of the Enkeleans (territories contiguous to Lake Ohrid. He also waged war against the Romans but was betrayed by some of his important generals. One of the most successful and famous commanders in the history of the Albanian people was George Castriot Scanderbeu (Gjergj Kastriot Skerderbeu). He fought the invading Osman forces for two decades and was always victorious.

Since the fall of communism in Albania in 1991, the country has played a constructive role in resolving several of the inter-ethnic conflicts in Southern East Europe, promoting peaceful dispute resolution and discouraging ethnic Albanian extremists. Albania sheltered many thousands of Kosovar refugees during the 1999 conflict, and provided through a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Operational HQ in Durres (operational until 2006, see NATO Headquarter Tirana), logistical assistance for Kosovo Force, KFOR troops. Albania is part of the international Stabilization Force (SFOR) serving in Bosnia, and Albanian peacekeepers are part of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, ISAF and the international stabilization force in Iraq. Albania has been a steadfast supporter of U.S. policy in Iraq, and one of only four nations to contribute troops to the combat phase of Operation Enduring Freedom.[1]

Modernization

Since 1999, Albania has spent approximately $108 million annually on military expenditures, roughly 1.35% of its GDP. One of the most important conditions to fulfill due to NATO integration, was the increasing of the military budget. According to Government of Albania projections, military expenditure will reach 2% of GDP in 2008.

In 2002, Albania's armed forces,[2] launched a 10-year reform program sponsored and supervised by the U.S. Defence Department in order to trim down and thoroughly modernise the standing force of more than 30,000 troops. The same radical reform is being implemented on any surplus equipment, including airplanes, tanks, helicopters, artillery pieces, navy vessels, SALW and ammunition. Albania started an ambicious destruction programme. However, Albania still is dealing with a huge amount of surplus and obsolete ammunition, a direct result of the country's long isolation and ethnic tensions in the area. The Albanian Ministry of Defence estimates such quantity up to 111,000 Tons, but it is expected to increase up to 150,000 Tons due to the on-going downsizing process of the AAF. As very important is seen the fact that the Albanian fractious politics have not obstructed any of the reforms undertaken by the Armed Forces.

In May 2003, Albania, Croatia, the Republic of Macedonia with the direct support of the USA, created the Adriatic Charter, modeled on the Baltic Charter, as a mechanism for promoting regional cooperation to advance each country's NATO candidacy. In spite of strong European Union (EU) objections, Albania also signed in May 2003 a bilateral agreement with the USA on non-extrading US citizens to EU, based on Article 98 of the statute of International Criminal Court.

In 2004 U.S. President George W. Bush authorized the use of the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction program funds for projects in Albania, marking the first time such funds are used outside the former Soviet Union. With this funding the US assisted the Government of Albania with the destruction of a stockpile of war chemical agents left over from the communist regime (Category 1 [1], Total amount 16,7 Tons). Total cost of the project was US$48 million]]. The project was officially completed on 10 July 2007.
Enlarge picture
Structure of the Albanian Military Joint Forces


On April 3, 2006, the final contract for the delivery of 12 Bölkow-Blom MBB BO-105 lightweight twin-engine multi-role helicopters to the Republic of Albania was signed in Tirana between the Albanian Ministry of Defense and the Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH. According to the Albanian Government[3], six of the BO-105 helicopters are designated for the Albanian Air Brigade, four for the Ministry of Interior and the remaining two for the Albanian Ministry of Health.

On 14 November 2006, the new structure of the Albanian Armed Forces was officially introduced with the sign of the President of the Republic. The new structure, based on the "Joint" concept, has thre main commands. The AL JFC (Albanian Joint Forces Command) includes the RRB Rapid Reaction Brigade (the RRB is basically a Mechanized Infantry Brigade), the Commando Regiment, the Albanian Navy Brigade, the Albanian Air Brigade and the Albanian Area Support Brigade. The Support Command which provides supporting and logistical functions for the whole army units and TRADOC (Training and Doctrine)which is the main educational and training provider for the Albanian Armed Forces. Final personnel number will be 13,800 (will include 2000 civilians).

The Albanian Navy Brigade performs mainly Coast Guard duties, and recently the Albanian parliament has approved some amendments to the articles of the actual Law on the Coast Guard in Albania, in order to improve the necessary legal framework due to efforts at European Union-NATO integration.

Working towards NATO membership,the Adriatic Charter countries -- Albania, Croatia and the Republic of Macedonia -- are expected to join the alliance in 2008.[4]

Note The AAF has no reserve units, although it does maintain a roster of reserve personnel up to 10000 personnel that can be called in if required to augment or fill active units, and/or supplement existing units for special tasks. This roster is to be frequently updated to include personnel that has recently departed active service.

Gallery




Albanian commandos stand guard during a ceremony held at Mother Teresa airport in Tirana before embarking for Iraq

The Soviet built Albanian minesweeper M-111 in use with the Albanian Navy Brigade

HN-5 MANPAD in use with Albanian Air Defence Battalion

One of the last flights of one Shenyang J-6C of the Albanian Air Force back in 2003. Firing the 57mm rocket pod.

Albanian military personnel belonging to EU "Althea" mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina, deployed under German command.

Training

Commando members training in Special Operations tactics.

See also

External links

Ranks and insignia

[2]

References

1. ^ Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs/May 2007.
2. ^ [3]
3. ^ Germany will supply Albania with 12 BO-105 Helicopters
4. ^


Date & place of birth

  • 21 January 1967 Durres

Education

  • University of Tirana, Oil Engineering Mining-Geology Branch;

Professional Background

  • Engineer at State controlled Oil Extraction Enterprise, Patos

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Rank & Name Lieutenant General Luan Hoxha

Position Chief of Albanian General Staff

Military Career
  • Platoon Commander 1983-1985
  • Company Commander 1985-1987
  • Engineering Chief, Infantry Brigade 1987

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Motto
"In God We Trust"   (since 1956)
"E Pluribus Unum"   ("From Many, One"; Latin, traditional)
Anthem
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Anthem
"Das Lied der Deutschen" (third stanza)
also called "Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit"
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Anthem
Il Canto degli Italiani
(also known as Fratelli d'Italia)


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Albanian (gjuha shqipe IPA /ˈɟuˌha ˈʃciˌpɛ/
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military staff is a group of officers and enlisted personnel that provides a bi-directional flow of information between a commander and subordinate units. Officers oversee staff sections, Senior Enlisted Personnel task personnel in the maintenance of tactical equipment and vehicles.
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The Albanian Joint Forces Command, consists in the branch of the Albanian military charged with protecting the territorial integrity of Albania. The Command has under the proper structure the Rapid Reaction Brigade, the Commando Regiment, the Albanian Air Brigade, the Albanian Navy
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The Albanian Support Command is responsible for:
  • Management of materials
  • Supplying of forces;
  • Logistical support of forces employed in multinational operations;
  • Third level maintenance;
  • Infrastructure and military law enforcement support;

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TRADOC focuses in:
  • Individual basic and specialty training of CO's, NCO's, civilian education and career development;
  • Development of operational doctrine;
  • Training guidance and training support.

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The Albanian Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) consists of the Albanian Defence Academy, the "Skanderbeg" Military University, the NCO "Tomson" Academy, the Basic Training Brigade, a consolidated Troops School, a Defence Analysis Center, and a Training Support Center.
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The Albanian Joint Forces Command, consists in the branch of the Albanian military charged with protecting the territorial integrity of Albania. The Command has under the proper structure the Rapid Reaction Brigade, the Commando Regiment, the Albanian Air Brigade, the Albanian Navy
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Durrës
Durrësi

Durrës Harbor

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The Albanian Naval Defence Forces (Albanian:Forcat e Mbrojtes Detare Shqipetare) are the naval branch of the Albanian military. They were renamed from the Coastal Defense Command of the Albanian Army in 1996.
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The Albanian Air Force (Forcat Ajrore Shqiptare, FASH) is the national Air Force of the Albanian military. Currently it operates under the Albanian Joint Forces Command and it is regrouped in the Albanian Air Brigade.
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Infantry or footmen are soldiers who fight primarily on foot with small arms in organized military units, though they may be transported to the battlefield by horses, ships, automobiles, skis, bicycles, or other means.
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History

The Albanian Rapid Reaction Brigade was created on 6 January 2001. On January 2003 - first structural reorganization. On November 2006 - current organization. It is considered a first priority unit of the Albanian Armed Forces

Mission


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Motto
"In God We Trust"   (since 1956)
"E Pluribus Unum"   ("From Many, One"; Latin, traditional)
Anthem
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Anthem
"Das Lied der Deutschen" (third stanza)
also called "Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit"
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Motto
"Je maintiendrai"   (French)
"Ik zal handhaven"   (Dutch)
"I shall stand fast"1

Anthem
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Anthem
Il Canto degli Italiani
(also known as Fratelli d'Italia)


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Motto
"Dieu et mon droit" [2]   (French)
"God and my right"
Anthem
"God Save the Queen" [3]
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Motto
Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité
"Liberty, Equality, Fraternity"
Anthem
"La Marseillaise"


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Motto
Eendracht maakt macht   (Dutch)
L'union fait la force"   (French)
Einigkeit macht stark
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Motto
"Plus Ultra"   (Latin)
"Further Beyond"
Anthem
"Marcha Real" 1
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Department of Defense redirects here. For the defense departments in governments of other countries, see defence ministry.

United States
Department of Defense

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This article or section contains information about scheduled or expected future events.
It may contain tentative information; the content may change as the event approaches and more information becomes available.
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North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique Nord


Flag of NATO

NATO countries shown in blue

Formation 4 April 1949
Type Military alliance
Headquarters Brussels, Belgium
Membership 26 member states
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Motto
"Jedna lasta, men' s' čini proljeće"
Anthem
Intermeco


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Semi-protection is not an endorsement of the current version. To see other versions, view the [ page history].
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