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
President of Albania Bujar Nishani
Minister of Defense Mimi Kodheli
Chief of the Albanian General Staff Major General Jeronim Bazo
Commander of the Land Forces Brigadier General Nazmi Cahani
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]

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]

A British Royal Marine posing with an Albanian Commando (right), both showing their shoulder patches.
  • 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 United States, 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 11 November 2013, Maj. Gen. Jeronim Bazo is Chief of Staff.

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 will be the standard weapon of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Albania replacing the different models of AK[4]
ASH-82 AKM automatkarbin, Ryssland - 7,62x39mm - Armémuseum.jpg 7.62×39mm  Albania Phased out in favor of the M4.[4]
ASH-78 Tip-1 AK-47 and Type 56 DD-ST-85-01269.jpg 7.62×39mm  Albania Phased out in favor of the M4.[4]
HK G36 Domok g36.JPG 5.56×45mm  Germany 350[citation needed]
HK 416 HK416.jpg 5.56×45mm  Germany 200[citation needed]
Beretta ARX-160 Beretta ARX-160, Interpolitex 2012.jpg 5.56×45mm  Italy Used by Albanian special forces (BFS) and Military Police [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 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]
HK UMP HKUMP45.JPG .45 ACP  Germany Limited use in the B.O.S.[citation needed]

Sniper Rifles[edit]

Model Image Caliber Origin !Note
Sako TRG Sako TRG-42.jpg .308 Winchester  Finland [9]
Barrett M99 Barrett M99.jpg .50 BMG  United States [citation needed]
Steyr HS .50 Steyr HS .50-frontal-scope.jpg .50 BMG  Austria [citation needed]

Machine Guns[edit]

Model Image Caliber Origin !Note
Heckler & Koch MG4 H&KMG4 Machine gun.jpg 7.62×51mm NATO  Germany In 2016 begin the replacement of RPD with HK MG4. The MG4 will become a standard machine gun of the army[10]
Heckler & Koch MG5 H&K MG5.jpg 7.62×51mm NATO  Germany In 2016 begin the replacement of RPD with HK MG4 & MG5.[10]
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.[11]
RPD machine gun LMG-RPD-44.jpg  Albania/ Soviet Union Phased out in favor of the H&K MG4/MG5

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 [11]
Strela-2 SA-7.jpg 72 mm  China/ Soviet Union [citation needed]
HJ-8 120 mm China Last seen in 2007 parade [12]

Mortar[edit]

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

Armoured Vehicles[edit]

Model Image Caliber Origin Note
Land Rover Defender

Albanian Army Land Rover.jpg

Armoured Vehicle  United Kingdom 127[citation needed]
Mercedes-Benz G Class Two Canadian Forces G-Wagons.jpg Armoured Vehicle  Germany 150[citation needed]
Iveco VM 90 Scarafone mask.jpg Armoured vehicle  Italy 250[citation needed]
Iveco LMV Panther CLV (7527696976) Armoured Vehicle  Italy 23[13]
HUMVEE Warsaw Hummer 03.JPG Armoured Vehicle  United States 30[citation needed]
MRAP Navistar MaxxPro.JPG Armoured Vehicle  United States 50[citation needed]
Nexter Aravis Nexter Aravis à Strasbourg, 2010 (3).jpg Armoured Vehicle  France Future procurement possible [14]
Nexter Titus 6x6 BTR-4 silhouette.png Armoured Vehicle  France 1+[citation needed]
M113 M113 kaunas.JPG Armoured Vehicle  United States 130[citation needed]
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.[citation needed]

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. ^ "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. Retrieved 2012-03-04. 
  9. ^ Eric R. Poole (April 2010). "Sako TRG-42 The quest for cold-bore accuracy stops here.". Gunsandammo.com. Retrieved August 11, 2013. 
  10. ^ a b . Lajmi.net http://lajmi.net/ushtria-shqiptare-zbarkon-ne-mes-te-tiranes-foto/.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. ^ 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. 
  12. ^ "NORINCO HJ-8 (Hongjian-8) (Red Arrow-8) Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) (1985)". 15 June 2015. Retrieved 27 December 2015. 
  13. ^ "Albanian military buys new equipment for air and land forces". 
  14. ^ "Albanian army was trained during two weeks with the armoured vehicle Nexer Aravis". 29 November 2012. Retrieved 27 December 2015. 

External links[edit]