Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama announced on Thursday that US Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR) is establishing forward operating headquarters in the Balkan country.
The opening of a new US facility in Albania is part of an ongoing American effort to enhance its special operations capabilities as a “keystone” for stability in the region.
The headquarters will serve as a home base for country-wide military missions and allow US special operations troops more logistical flexibility and better access to regional transportation hubs.
According to SOCEUR commander Maj. Gen. David Tabor, Albania is the “best location” for a new special forces base since it allows the US military to move rapidly and train with allied forces within the Balkan region.
The headquarters will put American special forces close to countries such as Greece, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia, where Russian political and military influence have increased.
Although the US has not revealed the precise number of special operations troops to be stationed in Albania, it explained that service members will be deployed to the new facility on a rotational basis.
‘Responding to Emerging Threats’
US Special Forces are a highly trained military unit often tasked to perform counterterrorism and reconnaissance missions. Equipped with advanced weapons and communications equipment, they are capable of infiltrating enemy lines to neutralize enemy threats.
Although SOCEUR has not specified the exact role of special operations forces in Albania, it said the unit’s overall operational objective is to rapidly respond to emerging threats and defeat aggression together with its allies.
After the September 11, 2001 attacks, US special forces numbers have doubled and their budget has increased significantly.
SOCEUR has established similar headquarters in other parts of Europe, including Germany, Estonia, and Ukraine, where troops coordinate training efforts with local forces.