Op Athena Rotation 3


Troops Afghanistan-bound

Thursday, January 27, 2005

By Canadian Press

CFB TRENTON -- Members of the Canadian military will be heading to Afghanistan today for a six-month tour of duty. The Department of National Defence, Land Force Central Area, announced yesterday that 135 soldiers will leave from CFB Trenton. They are the first of a 700-person task force to participate in the third rotation of troops for Operation Athena.

Another seven flights will be leaving Canada over the next three weeks, said Capt. Julie Brazeau, a public affairs officer.

Exact dates cannot be released for security reasons, said Brazeau.

The bulk of the task force is comprised of soldiers from CFB Petawawa.

They will be part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force of about 9,500 troops from 38 countries, and will be stationed at Camp Julien in Kabul.

The force's mandate is to help local authorities maintain security in and around Kabul so that the Afghan Transitional Authority and UN agencies can function in a safe and secure environment.

Brig.-Gen. Marc Lessard, commander of Land Force Central Area, will be on hand to see off the troops.

Following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States, Canada committed air, land and sea forces to the international campaign against terrorism.


Preparing to deploy to Afghanistan in winter

By Pte Dan Shouinard

Army, Maple Leaf, Maple Leaf, 19 January 2005, Vol. 8 No. 3

CFB PETAWAWA Peace support training, cultural awareness and rules of engagement training are just part of the preparations for deployment to Kabul, Afghanistan. This will be the third rotation of Operation ATHENA, Canada's contribution to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

ROTO 3 is made up of approximately 700 CF personnel from all across the country, but the bulk comes from units of the 2nd Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group (2 CMBG) based at CFB Petawawa.

These units include: the armoured reconnaissance squadron of The Royal Canadian Dragoons (RCD); 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment (1 RCR); 2 Combat Engineer Regiment (2 CER); 2 Military Police Platoon (2 MP Pl); 2 Field Ambulance (2 Fd Amb); 2 CMBG Headquarters and Signals squadron and the 2nd Service Battalion (2 Svc Bn).

The mission of the soldiers deploying on Op ATHENA is to help maintain security in Kabul and its surrounding areas, so the Afghan Transitional Authority and UN agencies can continue rebuilding the country. Once deployed in Afghanistan, these soldiers will be known as Task Force Kabul (TFK) and will join approximately 8 500 other soldiers from 37 nations that also contribute to ISAF.

Once their training is completed, these soldiers will find themselves back in Petawawa for final preparations and then deployment into Afghanistan in late January and early February.

Pte Shouinard is a photographer with TFK ROTO 3.

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