Albanian Land Force

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Albanian Land Force
Forca Tokësore
Albanian Land forces.svg
Coat of Arms of the Albanian Land Forces
Active 2000–present
Country Albania
Allegiance Republic of Albania
Type Army
Role National Defense
Size 8,500 (2015) [1]
Part of Albanian Armed Forces
Commanders
Chief of the Albanian General Staff Jeronim Bazo
Insignia
Identification symbol Albanian Land Forces insignia.svg

The Albanian Land Force (ALF) (Albanian: Forca Tokësore (FTSH)) is the most important branch of the Albanian Armed Forces. They are composed of The Land Force structure, which includes the Command and the Staff of LF as well as units and sub-units that make possible the fulfillment of its mission. 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 (Albania) Combat Support Battalion.[2]

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

Mission[edit]

Its 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.

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.

History[edit]

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 the Land Force 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 the 9th of December 2009 was re-established the Land Force on the basis of Rapid Reaction Brigade and Commando Regiment.

Albanian soldiers in woodland camo

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 Heart 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 USA, Italy, Turkey, Germany, England, 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, blocked roads and aid distribution in cases of heavy snowfalls, fire suppression operations, etc.

Since its establishment, the Land Force is 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 11th of November 2013, Maj. Gen. Jeronim Bazo is Chief of Staff.

Equipment[edit]

Firearms[edit]

  • Pistol and Submachine guns
Model Image Caliber Origin Note
Beretta Px4 Storm PX4Storm.jpg 9×19mm  Italy Will be the standard sidearm [3]
P8 Pistol HKUSP.png 9×19mm  Germany Limited use in the B.O.S.[4]
P12 Pistol HKUSP.png .45 ACP  Germany Limited use in the B.O.S.[4]
Beretta 92 Beretta 92 FS.gif 9×19mm  Italy In use with the B.O.S.[5]
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 [4]
HK UMP HKUMP45.JPG .45 ACP  Germany Limited use in the B.O.S.
  • Assault Rifles, Battle Rifles and Carbines
Model Image Caliber Origin Note
M4 carbine PEO M4 Carbine RAS M68 CCO.jpg 5.56×45mm  United States 3 March 2015 new service rifle[6]
ASH-82 AKM automatkarbin, Ryssland - 7,62x39mm - Armémuseum.jpg 7.62×39mm  Albania 3.000.000[dubious ]
ASH-78 Tip-1 AK-47 and Type 56 DD-ST-85-01269.jpg 7.62×39mm  Albania Standard service rifle ,being phased out by M4A1
HK G36 Domok g36.JPG 5.56×45mm  Germany 350
HK 416 HK416.jpg 5.56×45mm  Germany 200
HK G3 DCB Shooting G3 pictures.jpg 7.62×51mm  Germany Used during peacekeeping operations
Beretta ARX-160 Beretta ARX-160, Interpolitex 2012.jpg 5.56×45mm  Italy Used by the B.O.S. And Military Police 4000 [7]
  • Sniper Rifles
Model Image Caliber Origin !Note
Sako TRG Sako TRG-42.jpg .308 Winchester  Finland [8]
Barrett M99 Barrett M99.jpg .50 BMG  United States ~
Steyr HS .50 Steyr HS .50-frontal-scope.jpg .50 BMG  Austria ~
  • Machine Guns
Model Image Caliber Origin !Note
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.[9]
RPD machine gun LMG-RPD-44.jpg  Albania/ Soviet Union In use in the Albanian Land Force [9]
  • Anti Tank weapons and MANPADS
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 [9]
Strela-2 SA-7.jpg 72 mm  China/ Soviet Union ~
HJ-8 120 mm China Last seen in 2007 parade [10]

Mortar[edit]

Model Image Caliber Origin Note
82mm Zagan 82 mm moździerz wz 37.jpg 82mm  China 259
M-120 GIs in Konar Province -b.jpg 120mm  Israel 550
M-43 160mm Mortar M1943 003.jpg 160mm  Russia 100

Armoured Vehicles[edit]

Model Image Caliber Origin Note
Land Rover Defender

Albanian Army Land Rover.jpg

Armoured Vehicle  United Kingdom 127
Mercedes-Benz G Class Two Canadian Forces G-Wagons.jpg Armoured Vehicle  Germany 150
Iveco VM 90 Scarafone mask.jpg Armoured vehicle  Italy 250
Iveco LMV Panther CLV (7527696976).jpg Armoured Vehicle  Italy 23[11]
HUMVEE Warsaw Hummer 03.JPG Armoured Vehicle  United States 30
MRAP Navistar MaxxPro.JPG Armoured Vehicle  United States 50
Nexter Aravis Nexter Aravis à Strasbourg, 2010 (3).jpg Armoured Vehicle  France Future procurement possible [12]
Nexter Titus 6x6 BTR-4 silhouette.png Armoured Vehicle  France 1+
M113 M113 kaunas.JPG Armoured Vehicle  United States 130
YW-531 Type 63 APC at the Beijing Military Museum - 1.jpg Armoured Vehicle  China 86

Heavy armoured and tanks[edit]

Model Image Caliber Origin Note
Type-59

Albanian army deploys T-59 tanks near Kosovo border, May 1999 (Robert Wright).jpg

Main battle tank  China 721+ delivered by China and used by Albanian government alongside 75 Soviet T-54 & 300+ T-55 tanks. Today most are retired and some in storage.

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.gazeta-shqip.com/lajme/2015/09/12/sulmet-nga-terrorizmi-shqiperia-do-te-bleje-raketa-ne-nje-rreze-70-km/
  2. ^ "Forcat e Armatosura të Shqipërisë". aaf.mil.al. 2015. 
  3. ^ "Trajnohen nga specialistët amerikanë, instruktorët e parë të pushkës M-4 dhe pistoletës Beretta PX Storm në FT". 2 July 2015. Retrieved 27 December 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c "hk in albania". Youtube.com. 2007-12-26. Retrieved August 11, 2013. 
  5. ^ Janq Designs. "Special Operations.Com". Special Operations.Com. Retrieved 2012-03-04. 
  6. ^ "Forcat e Armatosura shqiptare 6 vjet në NATO". 3 April 2015. Retrieved 27 December 2015. 
  7. ^ Tom Kington (September 10, 2009). "Mexico joins Albania and Italy as customer for new Beretta rifle,". DefenceNews. Retrieved August 11, 2013. 
  8. ^ Eric R. Poole (April 2010). "Sako TRG-42 The quest for cold-bore accuracy stops here.". Gunsandammo.com. Retrieved August 11, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b c 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. 
  10. ^ "NORINCO HJ-8 (Hongjian-8) (Red Arrow-8) Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) (1985)". 15 June 2015. Retrieved 27 December 2015. 
  11. ^ "Albanian military buys new equipment for air and land forces". 
  12. ^ "Albanian army was trained during two weeks with the armoured vehicle Nexer Aravis". 29 November 2012. Retrieved 27 December 2015. 

External links[edit]