By Capt. Glen Parent
Canadian Contribution Training Mission – Afghanistan Public Affairs
Kabul, AFGHANISTAN – Canadian soldiers based in Kabul gathered at their main camp May 28 to mark the official stand-up of Operation Attention, the Canadian Forces commitment to training the Afghan National Army.
During a short parade and ceremony, Lt.-Gen. Marc Lessard, the Commander of Canadian Expeditionary Force Command, thanked the soldiers for volunteering to serve in Afghanistan and declared the new training force operational. “This mission is a continuation of our commitment to Afghanistan,” said Lessard. “We will perform this mission in true partnership with our Afghan brothers, our NATO allies, and especially our American friends.”
Over the past two months, a 75-person Theatre Activation Team has prepared infrastructure and communication systems for the mission in the Kabul area. In early May, an advance party of the headquarters for the Canadian Contribution Training Mission – Afghanistan arrived in Kabul to prepare for the arrival of Canadian Forces advisors. These advisors, who began arriving in late May, will make up the bulk of the 950-person mission.
Operation Attention is designed to assist the Afghan Army as it develops into a highly skilled, self-sustaining force that is able to assume full responsibility for security in Afghanistan. Twenty-nine nations provide more than 2,600 advisors and trainers to the NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan, which is working to develop the Afghan National Security Forces, including Army, Police, Border Police and the Afghan National Army Air Corps. The Canadian Forces mandate to contribute to NTM-A extends to the end of 2014.
Photo caption: Col. Peter Dawe, Deputy Commander of Canadian Contribution Training Mission – Afghanistan (foreground), salutes Lt.-Gen. Marc Lessard, commander Canadian Expeditionary Force Command, at Camp Phoenix May 28. (DND photo by Master-Cpl. Rory Wilson)
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