OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - March 18, 2014) - Department of National Defence
The final contingent of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) troops who were deployed to Afghanistan have returned to Canada today, after the end of major military operations for Canada in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan was Canada's largest military deployment since the Second World War, as well as its longest deployment ever. Since Canada's first involvement in Afghanistan in 2001 more than 40,000 Canadian soldiers, sailors, airmen, and airwomen have deployed to the country, with approximately 25 per cent of them having served more than one tour.
Since the end of combat operations in Afghanistan in 2011, Canada has contributed to the NATO Training Mission - Afghanistan (NTM-A). Alongside its NATO allies, Canada assisted in the training, mentoring and development of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), thereby increasing and sustaining the capacity of the ANSF to provide safety and security for their country.
- CAF personnel have been continuously deployed to Afghanistan for more than 12 years.
- During that time, the CAF conducted the following major operations: Operation APOLLO (2001-2003); Operation ATHENA (2003-2011); and, Operation ATTENTION (2011-2014).
- When the NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan was established in 2009, the Afghan National Security Forces totalled some 190,000. Today, the combined Army, Air Force, Special Forces, and Afghan Police are some 350,000 strong.
- As announced by the Prime Minister at the NATO Summit in Chicago in May 2012, Canada will continue to play an important role in supporting efforts that contribute to building a better future for all Afghans and has committed $330 million to help sustain the Afghan National Security Forces and $227 million in development assistance between 2015 and 2017.
"I wish to express my gratitude to the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces returning home today as well as to their families for their unwavering support. Today marks a defining period of strength in our nation's history. The experiences of Afghanistan, spanning over more than 12 years, have made us even stronger as a nation. From the tireless efforts of those in uniform to the families and communities that supported them, this sense of strength has become a part of our national identity."
The Honourable Rob Nicholson
Minister of National Defence
"As our members return on this, our final flight home from our operations in Afghanistan, we will join all Canadians reflecting on the past 12 years. We will think of the thousands of our members who deployed on this mission, and of those who made the ultimate sacrifice and did not come home. We will remember them. We will note with pride the difference that we helped to make for the people of Afghanistan, and the hope that we helped them to gain. For our members on this final flight, on behalf of your colleagues and brothers and sisters in arms, well done and welcome home."
General Tom Lawson
Chief of the Defence Staff
"I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all the Canadian Armed Forces troops who are returning home today. I commend you on your contribution to successfully training and mentoring the Afghan National Security Forces. From combat through to training, you have demonstrated that you remain a professional, well trained, adaptive and capable force. As always, you continue to be some of Canada's best ambassadors on the international stage. Please take some time to rest and enjoy the company of your loved ones."
Lieutenant-General Marquis Hainse
Commander of the Canadian Army
Canadians can share their messages to troops on Twitter using hash tag #WelcomeHomeTroops
Photos and video of Operation ATTENTION
Canada's Engagement in Afghanistan
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