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Albania sends troops to Aegean Sea on migrant mission

Albanian Naval Force troops | wikimedia

Albania has sent its sixth contingent of Naval Force troops in the Aegean Sea who will join a NATO forces mission which focused on prevention of entry of illegal refugees, sources reported.

Speaking at a send-off ceremony, Albanian defense minister Olta Xhacka highlighted the contribution of the Balkan country’s troops, noting that "Albanian troops have rescued over 540 people of different ages, races and nationalities.”

Present at the ceremony were the Chief of General Staff of Albanian Armed Forces, Brigadier General Bardhyl Kollçaku, Naval Force Commander, Major General Ylber Dogjani, and other high-ranking military commanders, family members and relatives.

According to the minister, only in the past two months, Albania's fifth contingent had saved 151 lives, including 33 women and 56 children. She also pointed out that the sixth contingent of Albanian Naval Force includes two women who for the first time ever will join an international NATO-led maritime mission.

On a related note, Naval Force Commander General Major Ylber Dogjani praised the role and commitment of the first five contingents of Albanian troops serving aboard of ALS Oriku,  an Iliria-class patrol boat manned by 21 crew members supporting NATO activities in the Aegean Sea as part of the international efforts to stop illegal trafficking and migration.

Sixth contingent of Albanian Naval Force includes two women who for the first time ever will join an international NATO-led maritime mission.

Minister of Defence Xhaçka said last weekend that Albania plans to send a third platoon to join the two existing ones at the Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan.