On Sunday, Albania received 267 more US troops who have joined ‘Defender Europe 2021, the military exercise that is being conducted in the country.
Their arrival was greeted by Albania’s Minister of Defense Niko Peleshi in a Twitter post.
Military officials and US Ambassador Yuri Kim welcomed the soldiers at the airport.
The ability to rapidly surge combat-ready forces into & across the theater is critical to support the alliance. #DEFENDEREurope 21 is an annual large-scale 🇺🇸 Army-led, multinational, exercise designed to build readiness & interoperability between 🇺🇸, #NATO & partner militaries. pic.twitter.com/oRsOziU6Uw
— USEmbassyTirana (@USEmbassyTirana) May 16, 2021
Defender Europe is a major annual multinational military exercise led by the United States. In Albania, it was launched in a ceremony on May 4, and will last until June.
It is the largest military exercise in southeast Europe. It aims at increasing military cooperation, and is designed to build strategic and operational readiness and interoperability between US, NATO, and allies and partners.
Exercises this year will be conducted in more than 30 training areas located in more than a dozen countries, with 26 nations participating.
More than 28,000 forces have been deployed for exercise in total, and 16 countries will exercise.
Training areas will include Albania, the Balkans, the Baltics, the Black Sea and Africa. Albania has offered 7 military bases for the exercise.