Riding Shotgun Over Albania:

More than 800 airmen from bases across Europe worked to protect the skies above Albania on Sunday—the day President Bush visited Tirana, Albania. Scott Schonauer of Stars and Stripes reports that aircraft patrolling the airspace included F-16s from Aviano AB, Italy, F-15Cs from RAF Lakenheath, England, and tankers from neighboring RAF Mildenhall, as well as an E-3 AWACS command and control aircraft from Tinker AFB, Okla. On the ground, the air and space operations center at Ramstein AB, Germany, consolidated information from the AWACS and other ground and airborne assets into a picture for US Air Forces in Europe commander, Gen. Tom Hobbins, and Albanian Brig. Gen. Shpetim Spahia. At a joint press conference, Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha noted that it was an “historic visit, the first visit ever by a United States President in Albania.”