U.S. Army warmly welcomed ahead of NATO exercises in Albania

DURRES, Albania (AP) — Albania’s main port of Durres has welcomed a huge influx of containers and big trucks this week ahead of NATO exercises, a concentration of military vehicles not seen in the Adriatic nation since World War II. Some 700 pieces of equipment from Florida National Guard’s 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team were being discharged from the USNS Bob Hope at Durres, 33 kilometers (20 miles) west of the capital, Tirana. They will be used for two weeks of training involving up to 6,000 U.S. troops at six Albanian military bases. It’s part of the US Army-led Defender-Europe 21 multinational military exercises, which are focused on deterring aggression. The exercises will run from May 17 to June 2.