Albania Table of Contents
Bus driver talking to soldier at the terminus near the port
city of Durrės
Courtesy Charles Sudetic
In early 1992, the ground, air and air defense, and naval forces of the People's Army had about 48,000 men, approximately half of whom were conscripts. The ground forces were the predominant service, and ground forces commanders exercised broad authority over the air and air defense forces in providing air support to ground forces units. They also had responsibility for the defense of coastal regions and exercised considerable operational control over naval units to accomplish this mission. There was less distinction between Albania's military services than was normally the case in larger Western military establishments. The air and air defense forces and the naval forces were usually treated separately because of their distinctive missions, equipment, and training, but their personnel were frequently referred to as air or naval soldiers. Their organization and logistics differed only insofar as their missions and equipment required. The tactical missions and capabilities of each service were specialized in relation to their weapons, and organizational patterns appeared similar to most other armed forces throughout the world. During the formative years immediately after World War II, force structures for each service were adopted directly from the Soviet model, although a partial realignment according to the Chinese pattern occurred after 1961.
Data as of April 1992