US helps the AAF with firefighting equipment, Xhaçka: from today we are more prepared

The US European Military Command, through the US - Embassy in Tirana, donated to our Armed Forces fire equipment of $361k value. The presentation ceremony was attended by the Defense Minister Olta Xhaçka, the US Charge d'Affaires in our country Leyla Moses-Ones, Deputy Chief of General Staff of Armed Forces, Brigadier General Manushaqe Shehu, Senior Officers in the Albanian Armed Forces and effectives involved in civil emergencies, who will use the new equipment.

Minister Xhaçka thanked the United States for the generous support given to our country, especially with the ongoing assistance to modernize and increase the capabilities of the Armed Forces.
"Unfortunately, particularly during the last decades, the Albanian State, Governments and Politics have had an approach that can only be accurately described as irresponsible. Considering that, Albania ranks as one of the 10 countries with the highest economic risk of disasters, but also with a high risk for the life and health of citizens from earthquakes, fires, floods, landslides and avalanches, the readiness of structures and institutions during the most part of the transition period has been very weak because of the turmoil, unclear competences, negligence as well as overlapping competences between authority and power. There is no doubt that today Civil Protection is more prepared and capable than it has ever been in the last three decades to protect the country, communities and citizens from natural disasters", said Minister Xhacka, who also praised the latest assistance of the US for our Armed Forces. ”This support is so precious and so welcomed. From now on, the Civil Protection and the Armed Forces are more prepared to face unexpected extreme weather, protecting not only the lives of the citizens and their property, but also the natural resources of the country. "

The Chargée d'Affaires, Leyla Moses-Ones, considered Albania as an unwavering NATO Ally and considered this assistance package as an example of co-operation between the two countries."This donation symbolizes our ongoing Humanitarian Assistance to the Government of Albania. This donation along with many other humanitarian projects offered by the US Embassy over the years is just one example of the enduring co-operation over the years between the US and Albania. Albania is a steadfast NATO ally and we are committed to continue to build our partnership."

The assistance package includes two "Bambi Buckets", each with a capacity of 2500 liters and can be used by both "Cougar" and the "Black Hawk" helicopters, which are expected to be in operation soon by our Air Force. Also part of the package are thermal imaging cameras for detecting fire spots inside buildings as well as fire-resistant protective clothing and equipment.

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