Before 1961 military training relied on the Soviet model. Training
manuals and materials were translated from Russian into Albanian.
But even though China replaced the Soviet Union as Albania's foreign
patron, the Chinese apparently made few basic changes in Albania's
military training programs. Most conscripts received considerable
physical conditioning, drill, and other basic training in school
and through the communist youth organization. This foundation
allowed the military to move conscripts rapidly into tactical
combat training and small unit exercises. Tactical training typically
involved preparation for fighting in defensive positions in the
mountainous terrain characteristic of the country's interior.
It emphasized physical conditioning, employment of light weapons,
and the use of minimal amounts of matériel and other support.
At least until 1991, the training program also devoted substantial
time to political indoctrination conducted by political officers.
Service within the naval forces was somewhat of a specialty,
and many conscripts from Vlorė or Durrės were assigned to the
naval forces because of their familiarity with small craft and
navigation. As a result, they rarely served their term in the
military out of sight of their homes, and because the level of
naval deployments and training was low, they remained available
for part-time fishing or other work.
In general, the frequent use of conscripts as laborers on economic
projects detracted from military training. They were often used
in the construction of factories, oil refineries, and hydroelectric
plants; during harvests; and for land reclamation efforts.
Data as of April 1992