TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's Defense Ministry says that the United States has provided the first light trucks to bolster its military capacities.

A statement Tuesday said that the first six out of 248 Humvees have arrived in Albania, as part of a $12 million aid package. The tiny Western Balkan country will support their transport and maintenance.

U.S. Ambassador Donald Lu said Albania is one of four NATO allies in Europe to get these vehicles so that it "has an infantry group fully modernized, operational and autonomous until 2019."

Albania joined NATO in 2009, and since then has been replacing outdated weaponry with new material in line with the alliance's standards.

It has regularly provided small army units in international peacekeeping missions or NATO operations.

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