Starting work for NATO Air Base in Kuçova, Rama and Peleshi: Albania, added value for the Alliance

 

The implementation of the project for the modernization of the Kuçova Air Base and its transformation into a NATO Tactical Air Base has began. The ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Edi Rama, Defence Minister Niko Peleshi, Chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces Major General Bajram Begaj, US Ambassador Yuri Kim, ambassadors of other countries accredited in Tirana.

Prime Minister Edi Rama stressed during his speech: "The decision taken by NATO to select this space as a new environment for addressing security challenges, transforming it into a tactical air base of the Alliance in the region, confirms the fact that Albania is an added value to this Alliance, which brings together states that believe in certain values and principles that are worth fighting for.”
The Prime Minister further emphasized the role of the "Defender - 21" exercise, adding that Albania is in the most favorable position to restore it in 2023. The conversion of Kuçova Air Base into a NATO Air base, was described by Prime Minister Edi Rama as an excellent opportunity for our Armed Forces in building national capacity and modernizing the Air Force.



Defence Minister Niko Peleshi stated that this would not have been possible without the unlimited support of our allies and the NATO civilian-military leadership:
“Choosing Albania to develop this project is a clear proof of its capabilities. already consolidated, to take more responsibility and to prudently continue our commitment and contribution to the security of the region and beyond. The construction of this base in our country is a clear message that is sent to other actors with bad intentions in the Western Balkans region. The growing Western presence throughout our region will not allow the penetration and influence of these rivals, who have agendas and interests other than those we believe and share. Other projects and initiatives like the one in Kuçova are very welcome in the future, and we are confident that other developments will follow us." - stressed Minister Peleshi.



The Defence Minister further said that with the completion of the reconstruction and putting into operational readiness, the Kuçova Tactical Air Base will play a crucial role in supporting NATO and allied countries to deploy quickly and efficiently. But, according to Minister Peleshi, the base will have a positive impact in the social and economic field for the community living near this base.

Chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces Major General, prof. asoc. Bajram Begaj, while describing it as a historic moment, said: “Kuçova Tactical Air Base will become an important trace of the NATO presence and will be in the service of various exercises and operations of the Alliance, being ready 24 hours on 7 days a week, both in times of peace and in times of crisis”.

The investment in this base amounts to about € 45.8 million and consists of the construction of armament depots, fuel depots, armament stations, aircraft parking, anti-breakdown and fire station, reconstruction of the runway and control tower.




Highlights from the exercise posted frum US Ambassy in Tirana! July 2021In May and June Albania hosted significant aspects of Defender Europe 21, an annual large-scale, multinational,...
The Secretary General’s Annual Report 2020 16 March 2021The Report includes the results of new polls on the public perception of the Alliance. These demonstrate that, in a year of upheaval, overall support for the NATO Alliance,...
The Chairmanship of Regional Organizations SEDM and Adriatic Charter (A-5) September 2019Albania, being one of the founder countries of many regional initiatives, is one of the most active countries in the region when it comes to regional initiatives such as A5 and SEDM,...
Defence Directive 2022 February 2022The leading document on the work, programs, and commitments of the MoD, and the AAF to fulfilling the constitutional mission, as well as the obligations as a NATO member country...