The Royal Navy’s Littoral Response Group (South) concluded a four-day visit to Albania.
The visit involved extensive training exercises and high-level diplomatic engagements, reinforcing the strategic partnership between the two NATO allies.
Commander Sam Stephens, leading the task force, praised Albania’s role as a key strategic partner. “We are looking to reinvigorate ties after a few years’ hiatus of the regular Albanian Lion exercise,” he stated in the press release. He commended Albania’s “exceptional terrain and areas for training,” acknowledging the mutual benefits derived from the unique training environment it offers.
The press release detailed the activities of the Merlin helicopters from 845 Naval Air Squadron, highlighting their role in conducting training with Albanian forces and reconnaissance flights to scout locations for future joint exercises. This proactive engagement underlines the UK’s commitment to regional security, as Commander Stephens emphasized the broader goal of strengthening security “not only in Albania but worldwide.”
A show of solidarity between the two nations was demonstrated when two Merlins performed a low pass over Tirana’s Skanderbeg Square during a joint press conference.