The United States-led military alliance will spend nearly $60 million on the first stage of work to turn Krucova into a support base for supplies, logistics, training, and drills.
“The base is also the first footprint of NATO in the Western Balkans as it transforms Kruchova Air Base into the first NATO air base for the Western Balkans region,” Albanian Defense Minister Olta Xhacka said.
The news of the second life for this naval graveyard has stirred hopes in Kruchova. Civilians see the base project as an economic boost for a region plagued by emigration and unemployment.
“Firstly, the security and defense of our country will boost. Secondly, the foreign investors that are already here in Albania and those that will come will have more confidence for their investments, and I believe, more foreign investments will come. Thirdly I believe that for the area where the base is, in the region of Kucova and Berat, there will be an economic growth, maybe small but still a growth as people will obtain employment there,” retired Air Force Commander Klement Alikaj said.