By Capt. Glen Parent
CCTM-A Public Affairs Officer
Kabul, AFGHANISTAN – Gen. David Petraeus, the Commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), visited Canadian troops in Kabul on June 4 to welcome them on their new mission and to recognize soldiers who have served over 12 months in Afghanistan.
“Thanks for raising your hand when your nation called for volunteers for Canada’s training mission,” said Petraeus. “You are starting a new chapter in Canada’s military history here. We are very grateful to your country and to you all.”
Petraeus, who commands more than 132,000 troops in Afghanistan, awarded the Commander ISAF coin to ten Canadian soldiers and one civilian who have each served more than 12 months in Afghanistan. Petraeus also received an update from Col. Peter Dawe, Deputy Commander of the Canadian Contribution Training Mission – Afghanistan, on the progress of Canada’s newly-established training mission.
“I am very pleased to be here to see the lead element of what is a very important contribution from Canada,” said Petraeus to a gathering of more than 100 Canadian soldiers. “My countrymen have a very high regard for those of you wearing the Canadian uniform and it’s a privilege to spend a few moments here with you today to convey my respect to you and your families.”
Canadian Forces personnel have deployed to the Kabul area 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 March 2014.
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