Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

July 06, 2009 16:06 ET

Government of Canada Congratulates Afghan Graduates From Canadian-Sponsored Junior Officer Staff Course

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 6, 2009) - The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway, congratulates the Afghan National Army (ANA) on the graduation of 20 students from its first Junior Officer Staff Course (JOSC). The course is sponsored by the Staff and Language Training Centre (SLTC) in Kabul, established by the Government of Canada in 2008.

"Providing training to Afghanistan's army is one of the six key priorities of the Government of Canada's contribution to the international mission in Afghanistan," said Minister MacKay. "Canada is proud to sponsor the course, which will graduate on average, over 500 officers a year to further strengthen the Afghan National Army's ability to protect its citizens."

The SLTC is a joint initiative between Canadian Expeditionary Force Command (CEFCOM) and Canada's Military Training Assistance Programme (MTAP). Canadian Forces educational experts worked side-by-side with the ANA to develop the JOSC, which helps prepare junior Afghan National Army officers for such things as the planning and coordination of military operations.

"During my last visit to Afghanistan I had the opportunity first hand to observe how Canadian soldiers are mentoring their Afghan partners," said General Walt Natynczyk, Chief of the Defence Staff. "In building the capacity of the ANA officer corps, the CF are enabling the ANA to take on greater responsibility in the counterinsurgency campaign with a goal of eventually assuming complete responsibility for national and provincial security."

In support of Canada's key priorities in Afghanistan, the SLTC-A initiative demonstrates a commitment to provide the ANA with the capacity to take on increased responsibility in operations as the CF prepare for their drawdown in 2011. Through the SLTC-A, Canada is laying the groundwork to leave behind a more secure environment.

For more information on MTAP please visit www.forces.gc.ca/admpol/newsite/mtap-eng.html.

For more information on CEFCOM please visit www.comfec-cefcom.forces.gc.ca.

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