On 15 October LTG Ed Davis paid a pleasurable visit to Tirana, where he met the Minister of Defence Mrs. Mimi Kodheli and Chief of Defence Major General Jeronim Bazo. He received a superb hospitality and an open, ‘one-team’ approach to discussions on developing the relevance, readiness and responsiveness of the Alliance’s Land Forces.
It was particularly pleasing to hear of the significant progress that the Albanian Armed Forces (AAF) has made in implementing its Modernisation Programme. A progression that is manifest in many ways; but, no more powerfully, than by the AAF’s singularly impressive commitment to the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) - 30% of AAF’s conventional land force capability; with 1x Coy attached to ESP / GBR / ITA GRF(L)s over the next three years.
DCOM then lectured the Senior Defense and Security Course (SDSC): 'NATO Land Forces’ Approach to Countering 21st Century Defence and Security Threats'; where he had a wide-ranging interaction with Officers from eight different Countries in the Region and Civilians from a number of other ALB government departments.
Finally, he visited the Land Forces Headquarters, where the Commander Major General Zyber Dushku had organized a demonstrative training activities conducted by the ALB Special Operation Forces (SOF) in cooperation with the American Partners; with whom the ALB SOF have enjoyed an enduring partnership since combined ISAF operations in Afghanistan.
General Davis’s principle take-away was a commitment for LANDCOM to facilitate broader and deeper AAF interaction with the other European Land Forces, like JFC Naples, US Army Europe and the AAF’s 3 affiliated GRF(L)s in the NATO Response Force (NRF) LTRP, in order to assure the continued development of the AAF’s role and capability / capacity in step with the Readiness Action Plan (RAP) workstands.