NATO starts its “Defender 21” military exercise in Albania

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times April 29, 2021 20:02

NATO starts its “Defender 21” military exercise in Albania

NATO has launched in Albania the “Defender 21” military exercise with thousands of troops from the United States and other member countries. The American troops have been stationed since April 26 in 5 military bases of Albania. Speaking to the Voice of America, a US military official considered the “Defender 21” military exercise as the largest exercise in the Western Balkans since World War II. The military training Defender 21 is an annual large-scale U.S. Army-led, a multinational, joint exercise designed to build readiness and interoperability between U.S., NATO and partner militaries. The training will integrate approximately 28,000 multinational forces from 26 nations to conduct nearly simultaneous operations in May across more than 30 training areas in 12 countries, including Albania.

VOA reported that the US Colonel Joseph Scrocca said today in an online meeting with the press that “Albania is a staunch NATO ally and a valued security partner at the regional and global level.” Besides Albania, other Western Balkan countries which are members of NATO that are participating in the exercise include Croatia, North Macedonia, and Montenegro. A few days before the start of the "Defender 21" exercise, the Chief of Staff of the Albanian Army, Major General, Bajram Begaj, said in an interview with VOA ​​that “the American Command of Europe and Africa valued Albania, choosing it for this important exercise.”

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times April 29, 2021 20:02