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Sat May 1, 2021, 01:16 PM

U.S. Army warmly welcomed ahead of NATO exercises in Albania

DURRES, Albania (AP) — Albania’s main port of Durres has welcomed a huge influx of containers and big trucks this week ahead of NATO exercises, a concentration of military vehicles that U.S. officials said has not been seen in the Adriatic nation since World War II.

Some 700 pieces of equipment from the Florida National Guard’s 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team were being discharged from the USNS Bob Hope at Durres, 33 kilometers (20 miles) west of the capital, Tirana. They will be used for two weeks of training involving up to 6,000 U.S. troops at six Albanian military bases.

It's part of the US Army-led Defender-Europe 21 multinational military exercises, which are focused on deterring aggression and building operational readiness with NATO and a greater number of allies and partners. They run from May 17 to June 2.

“Albania is a valued partner. Our militaries benefit by training together, enhancing interoperability, building operation readiness and strengthening relationships — all of which enable our ability to respond to any crisis, anytime, together with our allies and partners,” Tammy Muckenfuss of the U.S. Army for Europe and Africa, based in Germany, said Saturday.


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