Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

December 17, 2009 13:59 ET

Afghan National Army Holds Second Graduation of Canadian-Sponsored Junior Officer Staff Course

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 17, 2009) - The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway, congratulates the Afghan National Army (ANA) on the graduation, yesterday, of 39 students from its second Junior Officer Staff Course (JOSC) in Kabul. The first course, which graduated 20 students, concluded in July 2009 after 14 weeks of training. The JOSC is the primary component of the Staff and Language Training Centre - Afghanistan (SLTC-A) project, which was announced by the Government of Canada in 2008.

"This second graduation ceremony highlights Canada's ongoing commitment to supporting the Afghan National Army in building capacity and acquiring the training and capabilities to assume responsibility for providing their own security," said Minister MacKay. "The junior officer staff course is an integral part of increasing the Afghan army's ability to conduct operations and sustain a more secure environment in Afghanistan."

The SLTC-A is a joint initiative between Canadian Expeditionary Force Command (CEFCOM) and Canada's Military Training Cooperation Programme (MTCP), formerly known as the Military Training Assistance Programme (MTAP).

Canada's support for the SLTC-A project supports the Government's key priorities in Afghanistan, notably building ANA capacity to take on increased responsibility in operations as the Canadian Forces prepare for the drawdown of the military mission in 2011. In line with this commitment, the JOSC course includes a mentoring program, which focuses on the development of a cadre of ANA instructors. With this initiative, Canada is laying the groundwork for a more secure environment.

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