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Feb 1 2019

NATO invests in Kuçova Air Base, Albania

MONS, Belgium – NATO announced the investment of 51 million euros to upgrade Kuçova Air Base in Albania during a groundbreaking ceremony at the air base on Jan. 24, 2019.

The upgrade includes improvements to the facilities, infrastructure and fuel storage, bolstering its presence in the region. The investment, part of NATO’s Security Investment Programme, covers major construction projects in Allied countries. The goal for this project is to raise the profile of Albania as a reliable member state, and to facilitate robust air related operations, such as Hellenic and Italian Air Policing activities and assurance measures support of the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force missions over Albanian territory.

Albania is ready to take more responsibilities in the region

“The upgrade of Kuçova air base is very important. It shows that the Alliance is still very active in the whole region and it also demonstrates that Albania is a reliable member of NATO,” said Mr. Ilir Meta, President of Albania. “Albania is ready to take more responsibilities for the benefit of the peace and security in the whole region,” he added.


The upgrade will bring Kuçova Air Base up to NATO standards by renovating the runway, taxiways, and storage facilities and will increase the readiness of the alliance and interoperability of its members.

Albania in the Balkans, especially in the western Balkans, becomes a critical place

“When you take a look at the Adriatic, when you take a look at the southern flank of the European continent, and its proximity in the region towards the European continent, it is important to have peace and prosperity” said Commander of NATO’s Allied Air Command, General Tod D. Wolters. “Hence, Albania in the Balkans, especially in the western Balkans, becomes a critical place,” he added.

Albania joined NATO in 2009 and has contributed to multiple NATO operations and missions, including the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan, the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup in Latvia, Kosovo Force  as well as Operation EUFOR “ALTHEA” in Bosnia and Herzegovina.


Story and Video by SHAPE Public Affairs Office


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