US donates 37 MRAP vehicles to Albania

37 Navistar MaxxPro Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected (MRAP) vehicles, donated by the US government, were handed-off for the Albanian Armed Forces on 4 April, Dylan Malyasov reported on MilitaryQ. The ceremony was attended by the Albanian Defense Minister Olta Xhacka, the charge d’affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Tirana Leyla Moses-Ones, and Chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces Brigadier General Bardhyl Kollcaku.

US donates 37 MRAP vehicles to Albania 2
Navistar MaxxPro Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected (MRAP) vehicles being offered to Albania (Picture source via Dylan Malyasov)

Albanian Defense Minister Olta Xhacka thanked the U.S. government for its continued support to Albania and expressed gratitude for the donation of 37 Navistar MaxxPro MRAPs, which will increase the capabilities and performance of the country’s Armed Forces. On her part, Moses-Ones underlined that the new armored capability will enhance Albanian’s internal defense, strengthen NATO’s southern flank, and provide critical combat power to NATO that can be deployed in support of global operations.

These vehicles were transferred under the US program for the implementation of Excess Defense Articles (EDA) in accordance with the 2015 US-Albanian agreement. Under this agreement, the United States pledged to donate 250 wheeled combat vehicles via EDA. In 2017, Albania received 77 HMMWV M1114 Humvees and the first three MaxxPro armored vehicles as the first step under this agreement.

In 2015-2018, the Albanian Ministry of Defense also received even Iveco LMV light armored vehicles with a thermal imager. from the Italian army.