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