US donates 37 MRAPs to Albania

The United States government handed over 37 Navistar Defense International MaxxPro mine-resistant, ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicles to Albania on April 3 donated as part of US government’s aid package to Albanian Armed Forces (AAA).

Albania Ministry of Defence photo

“This new armored capability will enhance Albanian’s internal defense, strengthen NATO’s southern flank, and provide critical combat power to NATO that can be deployed in support of global operations.  It is yet another example of how Albania is stepping up as a regional leader in the Balkans,” US Embassy in Albania Chargé d’Affaires Leyla Moses-Ones.

“This package is translated into more capacities quality, more joint commitments and certainly more security for both our country and the Alliance,” Albania Defence Minister Olta Xhaçka said.

He added that new armaments under the NATO standard, the new HMMWV and MRAP armored vehicles package that are being added to the AAF equipment inventory, are changing in a qualitative way the daily reality of Albanian soldiers’ duties as well as increasing day-to-day performance during the exercise of their tasks in the theaters of the participating operations.

“The vehicles will enable the extension of tasks and troop’s mission spectrum and will enhance troops’ safety, especially against mines and improvised explosive devices, which is now considered to be one of the most present threats to the operating environment,” the Albanian minister added.