Pembroke flag flying in Kandahar

by Major Vance White, KPRT PAO, Petawawa Post, 23 December 2008

Recently, Sgt Brian Highfield received a ‘care package’ a little different from others that soldiers normally receive here in Afghanistan.

Highfield is a Combat Engineer who’s home unit is 2 Combat Engineer Regiment, part of 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group based in Petawawa. W h i l e deployed, he is a project manager with the Specialist Engineering Team (SET), the section of the Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team (KPRT) which manages construction projects and conducts quality assurance and quality control checks on large infrastructure projects in and around Kandahar City.

“I have lived in Pembroke for 15 years with my family, it really is home,” said Sgt Highfield. W h e n many military families move locations every three or four years, it can be hard to put down roots and call a place home.

“When I found out that we had a policy on camp to let soldiers fly their hometown flags, I wanted to show my support for Pembroke, as the city has really supported me, my family, and the rest of the military over the years.”

Included in the package from the City of Pembroke was not only the Pembroke flag, but also a framed scroll and letter from the Mayor and City Council.

“It is our hope that the City flag will fly high above your camp and be a reminder to yourself and your fellow soldiers that the City of Pembroke supports its military and their families and that our community is behind you,” wrote Mayor Ed Jacyno, who presented the flag and scroll to Sgt Highfields’ wife Laura and daughter Mandi in October.

The Pembroke flag stands proud with about two-dozen other municipal flags from hometowns of other soldiers who are members of the KPRT, based at Camp Nathan Smith, in Kandahar City. “When you see the flags, you know that people back home are thinking of you,” Highfield explained. “It’s a good feeling to have.”

Sgt Highfield plans to present the flag to the Mayor and City Council members when he completes his tour in the spring. He also hopes to present the Mayor’s scroll to 2 CER when he returns, so that the combat engineers there are reminded of the support from the local area.

The projects that Sgt Highfield oversees range from road and ditch improvements within the city that will improve both safety for Kandahar is and help prevent flooding in the rainy season; to bridge construction which is part of the larger Arghandab Irrigation

Rehabilitation Project, also known as the Dahla Dam project, which provides a secure irrigation water supply to the majority of the Kandahari population; generate 10,000 seasonal jobs; and foster agriculture by providing farmers with irrigated land.

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