US Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR) has announced a decision to locate a forward-based Special Operation Forces' headquarters, on a rotational basis, in Albania, as a part of ongoing effort to enhance the SOF capabilities as a keystone for regional stability, the Stuttgart-based SOCEUR headquarters confirmed on Thursday.
According to the statement, 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.”
“Albania remains a strong NATO ally and the US enjoys a strong relationship with the Albanian government and Ministry of Defense, which makes the placement of a forward HQ in the allied nation a natural fit. Plus, this location greatly reduces travel times and increases flexibility of both special operations and conventional forces in the region. This would not be possible without the tremendous support of the Albanian government and the professionalism of the Albanian military,” it added.
U.S. SOCEUR has made the decision to locate a forward-based SOF headquarters, on a rotational basis, in Albania!
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🇦🇱: https://t.co/476FR2HyTs#SOFinEurope@FA_Shqiptare @MinMbrojtjes @USEmbassyTirana pic.twitter.com/3G27dQvvW6
— US Spec Ops Europe (@US_SOCEUR) January 6, 2022
Commander of Special Operations Command Europe, Major General David H. Tabor, said 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.
“Albania remains an important NATO Ally and a valued security partner, both regionally and globally,” he stressed.
SOCEUR plays an important role in demonstrating US commitment to our allies and partners in the Balkans and this effort is being conducted with the full support of the Albanian government and remains a tribute to the professionalism of the Albanian military, said the SOCEUR's statement.
“Through ongoing training and close cooperation, US SOF provides an important link between our allies and partners in the region, thereby enhancing regional stability,” it added.
It was also emphasised that the SOCEUR is “uniquely postured to galvanize our relationship with Allies and partners to counter malign influence, build interoperability, rapidly respond to emerging threats and if necessary, defeat aggression.”