US Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR) is set to establish a forward-based Special Operations Forces (SOF) headquarters (HQ) in Albania.

The latest move is part of an ongoing effort to improve SOF capabilities as a cornerstone for stability within the region.

The forward HQ’s location, which will operate on a rotational basis, will allow increased interoperability with SOCEUR’s Albanian partners, and offer key access to transportation hubs in the Balkans region.

It will also offer greater logistical flexibility.

According to the US European Command (EUCOM), the location reduces travel times and increases the flexibility of the region’s special operations and conventional forces.

Special Operations Command Europe commander major general David H Tabor said: “The ability to rapidly move and train within the Balkans, in close coordination with other allied and partner forces, made Albania the best location for this effort.

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“Albania remains an important Nato Ally and a valued security partner, both regionally and globally.”

SOCEUR plays a key role in showcasing US commitment to EUCOM’s allies and partners in the Balkans.

This effort is being carried out with complete support from both the Albanian Government and the country’s military.

Albania Prime Minister Edi Rama was quoted by media sources as saying that the decision was ‘fantastic news’ that confirms ‘Albania’s credibility’ as a partner of the US and Nato.

Albania has been a Nato member since 2009.

Earlier this month, the US Army awarded a contract to SSCI to demonstrate the collaboration capabilities of autonomous air and space platforms.