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Albanian Minister of Defense visits ISAF HQ, Albanian troops

Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., ISAF commander, speaks with Albanian Minister of Defense Mimi Kodheli May 13 during her visit to ISAF Headquarters in Kabul.

KABUL, Afghanistan (May 13, 2015) – Albanian Minister of Defense Mimi Kodheli visited senior military and civilian leaders at Headquarters International Security Assistance Force May 10-11.  She also met with deployed Albanian forces in Afghanistan’s ISAF Joint Command, NATO Special Operations Component Command - Afghanistan, along with Regional Commands Central, South, and West.  Additionally, she met with 50 Albanian special operations forces.  At HQ ISAF, she laid a wreath at the Memorial of the Fallen.

"We appreciate Albania's continued support of NATO's mission in Afghanistan.  Albania and 49 other nations have made this coalition a viable partner in helping Afghanistan become a stable, secure, and unified nation," said Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., commander of ISAF.

Currently, 73 Albanian staff officers and troops are deployed to HQ ISAF, ISAF Joint Command HQ, Regional Command – Capitol, Regional Command – South, and Regional Command – West.  The largest contingency includes 50 special operators at a forward operating base in the south.

Albanian contributions to Afghanistan began in July 2003 when the first Albanian Armed Forces became part of coalition forces in Kabul.  Albania’s troop contributions continued to increase to include almost all the Regional Commands in Afghanistan, such as in Herat (West), Mazar-e Sharif (North), ISAF Headquarters in Kabul, NATO Training Mission in Kabul and Herat, Operational Mentor and Liaison Teams in Kabul, Special Forces in Kandahar (South) and the Special Forces Trainers in Wardak (East).

More than 3,500 Albanian military personnel have participated in operations in Afghanistan.