Today U.S. Ambassador Donald Lu and Albanian Defense Minister Olta Xhaçka welcomed the delivery of the first shipment of U.S. disaster response equipment to Albania’s Directorate of Civil Emergencies to enhance their capacity to respond to future flooding. The shipment was sent from Livorno, Italy after extensive coordination with the European Command (EUCOM) Humanitarian Assistance Program. A second shipment from Albany, Georgia will arrive soon.
In his remarks at the ceremony, Ambassador Donald Lu told military and civil emergency personnel, “We believe in the heroism of the Albanian Armed Forces and are proud to support them in their mission to save lives at home and overseas.”
“This equipment is part of a multi-pronged effort to assist our close ally and partner with the ability to respond to future natural disasters,” said Major Joshua Glendening, chief of the U.S. Office of Defense Cooperation in Albania. “We will continue to look for opportunities to work with the Albanian government to assist with the emergency services needed in the wake of flooding and regional forest fires.”
The donation comes in direct response to Albania’s request for assistance to NATO through the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Center. The supplies and equipment, totaling over $600,000, included four inflatable life rafts, 126 rescue diver wet suits, ten large military generators, 1671 blankets, 600 sleeping bags, 100 heaters, and 15 tents.