US Air Force Special Operations Wing trains in Albania

From July 29 to August 5, the operational unit of US Air Force Special Operations Command conducted operations and training flights in the Albanian airspace.

Three “MC-130J Commando II” aircraft and their crews conducted training flights in support of special operations in Europe. US planes and troops were deployed at the military section of Mother Teresa International Airport, where they were visited by the Albanian Defence Minister Olta Xhaçka, who was accompanied by US Chargé D’Affaires to Albania, Leyla Moses-Ones, Deputy Commander of the Air Force Colonel Editson Zarka and US Military Attaché Captain James Hilton.

Minister Xhaçka was introduced to the purpose of the training as well as the mission and duties of the 352nd Special Operations Wing, deployed in the United Kingdom. Accompanied by the US Chargé D’Affaires in Tirana, Leyla Moses-Ones, Minister Xhaçka boarded one of the "MC-130J Commando II" aircraft where she was informed about the capacities and capabilities of this aircraft and crew.

Minister Xhaçka appreciated the presence of US military transport aircraft of such dimensions as a testimony of the increasing attention towards Albania, concretized both in terms of training our personnel and providing them with the necessary equipment like Humvee or Black Hawk helicopters, which are expected to come into use soon in our Air Force.

The use of Albanian airspace and our bases by the support unit of US Special Operations is an evidence of the excellent relationship between Albania and the US in the Defense Area.

Currently, Albanian pilots and technicians are being trained by their colleagues of the New Jersey National Guard on the "Black Hawk" helicopters that are expected to be deployed soon by our Air Force.

The 352nd Special Operations Wing serves as the focal point for all U.S. Air Force Special Operations activities throughout Europe. This unit is prepared to carry out a variety of high-priority, low-visibility missions that support US special forces and peacetime allies in joint drills and combat operations.



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