Special Operations Command Europe Announces Establishment of Forward Deployed Headquarters in Albania

Jan 11, 2022 | Partner News

A U.S. Army Green Beret assigned to 10th Special Forces Group observes Close-Quarter-Battle drills conducted by the Albanian Special Forces, Albania, July 21, 2021. Joint Combined Exchange Training enhances interoperability with Partner Nations and strengthens military readiness, teamwork and joint confidence while promoting peace and stability in Europe. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Devin J. Andrews/Released.

As part of an ongoing effort in enhancing Special Operations Forces capabilities as a keystone for regional stability, US Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR) has made the decision to locate a forward-based SOF headquarters, on a rotational basis, in Albania. The location of the forward HQ in Albania will provide increased interoperability with our Albanian allies, important access to transportation hubs in the Balkans, and greater logistical flexibility.

Albania remains a strong NATO ally and the US enjoys a strong relationship with the Albanian government and Ministry of Defense, which makes the placement of a for-ward HQ in the allied nation a natural fit. Plus, this location greatly reduces travel times and increases flexibility of both special operations and conventional forces in the region. This would not be possible without the tremendous support of the Albanian government and the professionalism of the Albanian military.

“The ability to rapidly move and train within the Balkans, in close coordination with other allied and partner forces, made Albania the best location for this effort,” said Major General David H. Tabor, Commander of Special Operations Command Europe. “Albania remains an important NATO Ally and a valued security partner, both regionally and globally.”

SOCEUR plays an important role in demonstrating US commitment to our allies and partners in the Balkans and this effort is being conducted with the full support of the Albanian government and remains a tribute to the professionalism of the Albanian military. Through ongoing training and close cooperation, US SOF provides an important link between our allies and partners in the region, thereby enhancing regional stability.

SOCEUR is uniquely postured to galvanize our relationship with Allies and partners to counter malign influence, build interoperability, rapidly respond to emerging threats and if necessary, defeat aggression.


By Cmdr. Sean Foertsch, U.S. Special Operations Command Europe

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