Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

November 24, 2009 10:38 ET

Jamaica Defence Force Exchange Officer Returns From Afghanistan Deployment

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 24, 2009) - A Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) exchange officer has recently returned from a six-month deployment to Afghanistan with the Canadian Forces (CF). In this first-of-its-kind initiative between Canada and Jamaica, Lieutenant Carl Clarke of the JDF Engineer Regiment acted as Construction Management Team Leader with the Construction Management Organization of Joint Task Force Afghanistan Headquarters.

Lt Clarke spent most of his time helping with the reconstruction effort in Afghanistan, working out of forward operating bases in Canada's area of operations in Kandahar Province. Through this, Lt Clarke acquired experience and skills he will be able to impart to his colleagues upon his return to Jamaica.

"The Canadian Forces is proud that we were able to have Lt Clarke join us in our important work in Afghanistan," said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Canada's Minister of Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Gateway. "Working cooperatively with the JDF is an important part of Canada's contribution to the security pillar of the Government's Americas Strategy in the Western Hemisphere."

"This is a manifestation of the proud history of contribution to international forces as they address various security developments worldwide," added Senator the Honourable Dwight Nelson, Minister of National Security of Jamaica. "It also serves as eloquent testimony to the training rendered by the Jamaica Defence Force and professionalism of many of its members."

To prepare for his deployment, Lt Clarke underwent the same pre-deployment and theatre specific mission training that all members of the CF deploying to Afghanistan receive. Prior to deployment, Lt Clarke was attached to 14 Construction Engineer Squadron in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia.

Lt Clarke's deployment to Afghanistan was a result of the long-standing and close working relationship between the CF and the JDF. For decades, members of the CF and JDF have trained together in both Canada and Jamaica, including two major military exercises held in Jamaica in 2008.

Note to editors: To arrange interviews with Lt Clarke, please contact the Jamaica Defence Force at (876) 926-7668

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