TIRANA, Albania — Albania’s Defense Ministry says the United States has provided three Black Hawk helicopters to bolster its military capacities.

A statement Saturday said Defense Minister Olta Xhacka, who is visiting the United States, signed the deal at the New Jersey National Guard.

Helicopters are part of a U.S. support package for Albania, which joined NATO in 2009 and has been replacing outdated weaponry with new material in line with the alliance's standards.

The U.S. Army will train Albanian pilots and maintain the helicopters while the tiny Balkan country will pay an annual fee, the amount of which is not disclosed.

The U.S. has provided Albania with a number of Humvee and Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected (MRAP) vehicles.

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

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