Albanian Land Force

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Albanian Land Force
Forca Tokësore
Albanian Land forces.svg
Founded2000; 19 years ago (2000)
Country Albania
TypeArmy
RoleNational Defense
Size8,500 (2015)[1]
Motto(s)Fatherland, Honour, And Duty
Commanders
President of AlbaniaIlir Meta
Minister of DefenseOlta Xhaçka
Chief of the Albanian General StaffBrig. Gen.
Bardhyl Kollçaku
Commander of the Land ForcesBrig. Gen.
Albert Mullai
Insignia
Identification symbolAlbanian Land Forces insignia.svg

The Albanian Land Force (Albanian: Forca Tokësore të Republikës së Shqipërisë) is a branch of the Albanian Armed Forces.

Mission[edit]

The Albanian Land Force's main mission is the defense of the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Albania, participation in humanitarian, combat, non-combat and peace support operations.[2]

History[edit]

A British Royal Marine posing with an Albanian Commando (right), both showing their shoulder patches.

Land Force is a priority unit in the structure of the Armed Forces. Land Force was established on August 29, 2000, and included military units with traditions and rich multi-year activity, spread across the territory of the Republic of Albania. In 2000 the Land Force included five infantry divisions with 55 brigades and 300 battalions deployed in 167 different regions of the country. During its continuous reform, the Land Force underwent new changes. In 2006 it was dissolved and the Joint Force Command was established. In the context of the ongoing transformation of the Armed Forces, based on the concept of an army small in number, operational and professional, on 9 December 2009 the Land Force was re-established on the basis of Rapid Reaction Brigade and Commando Regiment.

Based on the constitutional mission, the Land Force was involved in a process of profound transformation according to Western military concepts, and with the transition of the entire force from a conscript military service into a professional army, its operational level has increased. The structures of Land Force have been engaged in Peace Support Operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iraq, Chad and currently in Herat and Kandahar, Afghanistan. Land Force has the major share in peacekeeping operations in the framework of NATO, UN and EU. The Land Force is managed by young qualified leaders educated in military schools of NATO countries, as in the United States, Italy, Turkey, Germany, United Kingdom, Austria, etc., based on cooperation projects with these countries.

Land Force is engaged in civil emergency operations to help the community in cases of natural disasters, such as floods and blocked roads, and aid in distribution in cases of heavy snowfalls, fire suppression operations, etc.

Since its establishment the Land Force has been led by experienced commanders. From 2000-06 it was headed by Maj. Gen. Kostaq Karoli; from 2006-08 it was led by Brig. Gen. Shpëtim Spahiu; from 2008-August 2012 by Brig. Gen. Viktor Berdo. From August 2012 to November 2013 it has been commanded by Maj. Gen. Zyber Dushku. Since 11 November 2013, Maj. Gen. Jeronim Bazo has been Chief of Staff.

Structure[edit]

Organizational divisions of the land force include:

  • Command and Staff
  • Staff Support Company
  • Training Centre
  • “Zall-Herr” Garrison
  • 1st Infantry Battalion
  • 2nd Infantry Battalion
  • 3rd Infantry Battalion
  • Commando Battalion
  • Special Operations Battalion
  • Combat Support Battalion.[2]

Specific tasks[edit]

  • Maintaining and developing capacities to provide a high level of readiness.
  • Continuous and sufficient training to deal with the tasks that might be assigned to it.
  • Assisting the community in cases of humanitarian emergencies; supporting Search and Rescue Operations(SAR).
  • Cooperating with other national institutions in preventing illegal trafficking, smuggling of people and conventional weapons in Albania.
  • Training and participating with troops in peace support missions in the framework of NATO, EU and UN.

Equipment[edit]

Firearms[edit]

Assault Rifles, Battle Rifles and Carbines[edit]

In 2014, Minister of Defense Kodheli announced that Albania would transition from the Kalashnikov family of rifles to the M4 family, in part because of the association of the Kalashnikov with terrorism.[3]

Model Image Caliber Origin Note
M4 carbine PEO M4 Carbine RAS M68 CCO.jpg 5.56×45mm  United States The Colt M4, alongside the Beretta AR70/90, have become the standard weapon of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Albania replacing the different models of AK[4]
AKM AKM automatkarbin, Ryssland - 7,62x39mm - Armémuseum.jpg 7.62×39mm  Albania Phased out in favor of the M4 and the Beretta AR70/90.[4]
ASH-78 Tip-1 Norinco type 56.jpg 7.62×39mm  Albania Phased out in favor of the M4 and the Beretta AR70/90.[4]
Beretta ARX160 Beretta ARX-160, Interpolitex 2012.jpg 5.56×45mm  Italy Used by Albanian special forces (BFS), RENEA and Military Police. Standard issue with 5.000 units delivered in 2017.[5]

Pistol and Submachine guns[edit]

Model Image Caliber Origin Note
Beretta Px4 Storm PX4Storm.jpg 9×19mm  Italy Standard issue[6]
P8 Pistol HKUSP.png 9×19mm  Germany Limited use in the B.O.S.[7]
P12 Pistol HKUSP.png .45 ACP  Germany Limited use in the B.O.S.[7]
Beretta 92 Beretta 92 FS.gif 9×19mm  Italy In use with the B.O.S.[8]
HK MP5 MP5.jpg 9×19mm  Germany Standard SMG in the B.O.S[9]
HK MP7 MP7A1 REMOV.jpg HK 4.6×30mm  Germany Limited use in the B.O.S. Mostly used by the RENEA, the Albanian police[7][9]
HK UMP HKUMP45.JPG .45 ACP  Germany Limited use in the B.O.S.[9]

Sniper Rifles[edit]

Model Image Caliber Origin Note
Sako TRG Sako TRG-42.jpg .308 Winchester  Finland Used by the Army, RENEA and B.O.S[10]
Barrett M99 Barrett M99.jpg .50 BMG  United States Used by B.O.S and RENEA[11]

Machine Guns[edit]

Model Image Caliber Origin Note
Heckler & Koch MG4 HK MG4 01.jpg 5.56×45 NATO  Germany The Commando Battalion was the first unit seen to use it in an exercise hel in late December 2015.It was also seen used by 2nd Infantry Battalion during exercises it participated in Poland. It will be used as a squad machinegun of the army[12]
DSHKM MITRALOZ 12.7 mm KA.jpg 12.7×108mm  Albania/ China DSHKM is used as Close AA gun also on APCs, MBTs, transport vehicles and some times on patrol boats.[13]
RPD machine gun LMG-RPD-44.jpg  Albania/ Soviet Union Phased out in favor of the H&K MG4/MG5[citation needed]

Anti Tank weapons and MANPADS[edit]

Image Caliber Origin Note
Soviet RPG-7 and Chinese Type 69 RPG-7 detached.jpg 40 mm  Soviet Union/ China Soviet and Chinese version is still used in the army[13]
Strela-2 SA-7.jpg 72 mm  China/ Soviet Union [citation needed]
HJ-8 BaktarShikan3.JPG 120 mm China Last seen in 2007 parade[14]

Mortar[edit]

Model Image Caliber Origin Note
82mm Zagan 82 mm moździerz wz 37.jpg 82mm  Albania 370[citation needed]
M-120 GIs in Konar Province -b.jpg 120mm  Israel 750[citation needed]
M-43 160mm Mortar M1943 003.jpg 160mm  Russia 20 stocked for museum purposes

Armoured Vehicles[edit]

[15]

Model Image Caliber Origin Note
Iveco VM 90 Scarafone mask.jpg Armoured vehicle  Italy [citation needed]
Iveco LMV Panther CLV (7527696976) Armoured Vehicle  Italy 23 (+2 to be delivered by the end of 2017 alongside 5000 AR70/90 rifles from Italy. Also, Albania has shown interest in acquiring a further 120 vehicles of this type by the end of 2019 and 40 8x8 vehicles from Italy.)[16][17]
MRAP Navistar MaxxPro.JPG Armoured Vehicle  United States 40 (further to arrive after missions in Afghanistan are completed)[citation needed]

Helicopters[edit]

Model Image Type Origin Notes
Eurocopter AS532 Cougar Multi-role  France 4
Eurocopter EC145 Utility  France 3
Bell 204/205 Utility  Italy 4
Bell 206 Utility  Italy 2
AgustaWestland AW109 Utility  Italy 2
AgustaWestland AW139 Attack  Italy 1
MBB Bo 105 Utility  Germany 15

Tanks[edit]

Model Image Type Origin Notes
Type-59 Albanian army deploys T-59 tanks near Kosovo border, May 1999 (Robert Wright).jpg Main Battle Tank  China 721 Type 59 delivered by China from 1966–1975, today none in working condition and all in storage for scrap or for selling.

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mesi, Herion. "Sulmet nga terrorizmi, Shqipëria do të blejë raketa në një rreze 70 km - Gazeta SHQIP Online". www.gazeta-shqip.com.
  2. ^ a b "Land Force". Albanian Armed Forces. Retrieved 23 July 2016.
  3. ^ "Speech of Minister Kodheli held in the Parliament session of September 25, 2014". Albanian Ministry of Defence. 25 September 2014. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  4. ^ a b c "Forcat e Armatosura shqiptare 6 vjet në NATO" (in Albanian). Albanian Armed Forces. 3 April 2015. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  5. ^ "Albanian Armed Forces newspaper". AAF Newspaper.
  6. ^ "Trajnohen nga specialistët amerikanë, instruktorët e parë të pushkës M-4 dhe pistoletës Beretta PX Storm në FT" (in Albanian). Albanian Armed Forces. 2 July 2015. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  7. ^ a b c "hk in albania". Youtube.com. 2007-12-26. Retrieved August 11, 2013.
  8. ^ Janq Designs. "Special Operations.Com". Special Operations.Com. Archived from the original on 2013-08-22. Retrieved 2012-03-04.
  9. ^ a b c "Small Arms List (Current and Former Types)".
  10. ^ Eric R. Poole (April 2010). "Sako TRG-42 The quest for cold-bore accuracy stops here". Gunsandammo.com. Archived from the original on July 11, 2011. Retrieved August 11, 2013.
  11. ^ User, Super. "Forcat e Armatosura shqiptare 6 vjet në NATO". aaf.mil.al.
  12. ^ . Lajmi.net http://lajmi.net/ushtria-shqiptare-zbarkon-ne-mes-te-tiranes-foto/. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  13. ^ a b Jones, Richard D.; Ness, Leland S., eds. (January 27, 2009). Jane's Infantry Weapons 2009/2010 (35th ed.). Coulsdon: Jane's Information Group. ISBN 978-0-7106-2869-5.
  14. ^ "NORINCO HJ-8 (Hongjian-8) (Red Arrow-8) Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) (1985)". 15 June 2015. Retrieved 27 December 2015.
  15. ^ "SHBA "armatos" Shqipërinë, 250 blinda dhuratë për ushtrinë".
  16. ^ "Albanian military buys new equipment for air and land forces".
  17. ^ "Italy to gift rifles to Albania - Jane's 360". www.janes.com. Archived from the original on 2017-10-08. Retrieved 2017-10-21.

External links[edit]