Friday, December 08, 2006

Tribute to a Coalition Partner ~ Albania


Albanian Kommandos at Logistical Support Area Diamondback.
Photo by Army Spc. L. C. Campbell, 138th MPAD

Albania is a small, emerging democracy in the Balkan area. It's entire population is about 3.5 million people - about 70% are Muslim, 20% Orthodox Christian and 10% Catholic. Yet, this small country has contributed troops to assist in the Great War on Terror in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Republic of Albania joined Operation Enduring Freedom on January 10, 2002. They granted overflight rights to all of the NATO aircraft in support of the mission, opened seaports for refueling and maintenance and was one of the nations to contribute troops to the combat operations. It has donated weapons, ammunition, helmuts, and military clothing for a battalion of the Afghanistan Army

The Republic of Albania has contributed troops to Operation Iraqi Freedom. One commando unit was attached to Task Force Olympia on June 6, 2003. Its mission is to undertake and execute security operations: convoy escort, manning checkpoints, guard duty and supporting the new Iraqi police to maintain public order. Today, they are stationed at LSA Diamondback.

From the Albanian troops at LSA Diamondback, Mosul, Iraq:

"We have about 120 soldiers here, but in my country all the people support our guys , and my people like freedom," said Besnik Sokoli, commander, 6th Albanian Contingent.

"In my country, we were not struck by terrorism, but the government and people support Albanian Soldiers fighting terrorism."

"I think now terrorism is the worst sickness and all democratic countries need to put together all their forces to fight the terrorists."

"Albania and the United States have very good relations that started many years ago," said Major Arben Kinji, commander, 7th Albanian Contingent.

"We wanted to do our part and help the Iraqi people become free."

"Most of my soldiers, between 70 and 80 percent, are here for the second time. Their morale is very high and they are very professional." (Albanian soldiers serve six month rotations.)

"They (the Albanian people) don't ask why we support the coalition. Our people back home in Albania are proud that we are here supporting the coalition, and are very proud for what we have."

"I want to be here, not only to support my Soldiers but also the coalition. I want to make my people back home extremely proud of what we have accomplished."

More information on the Albanian Defense Ministry can be found at:

With great gratitude for your contribution to the Great War on Terror in Afghanistan and in Iraq. We will ever be grateful for your dedication to freedom for all people. Thank You!


prying1 said...

Thanks for this posting - Too few kudos are given to the "little guys" that are helping us in the fight against terrorism. News such as this should be on page 1 of MSM souces.

You are doing a better job than the MSWM by reporting this.

Mike's America said...

Ditto to what prying1 said.

I had no idea Albania was part of the coalition.

It's great to have so many friends out there who we hardly ever hear about. What a shame we only hear about the countries who are complaining about us.

Thank you Albania.

Flag Gazer said...

I am impressed with them, too!
I'm going to find out about the great little countries that have helped... it's not easy to find, but important for us to know about!

Fight The Good Fight! said...

Good post on Albania FG.

Albania is stepping closer to become part of the EU, and expected to receive NATO membership in 2008.

Amazing when Democracy previals.


Anonymous said...

I'm a Albanian Immigrant in USA, I'm muslim and I love America more than my country. This is the first time I read about Albanian Forces to support USA troops fighting terrorism. I read everyday NY Times, Daily News, Post, News Day, Sun etc... but I never find a word about our support!. America saved us from the Serbs back in 90's... this is the smallest thing we can do for you guys!. Thanks for tribute "Flag Gazer"

Anonymous said...

That's great to hear Albanian Immigrant! I love to hear that kind of attitude from immigrants.

(This is daniel, having trouble commeting here and I'm already signed in!)

Flag Gazer said...

To our Albanian and now American friend - that you for visiting here. I was excited to read about the things the Albanians are doing in Iraq and Afghanistan. I'll choose them as allies over some of our pretenders anyday!