Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

March 17, 2011 13:43 ET

Minister MacKay Returns From Afghanistan

KANDAHAR AIR FIELD, AFGHANISTAN--(Marketwire - March 17, 2011) - The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, accompanied by the Honourable Hugh Segal, and General Walt Natynczyk, Chief of the Defence Staff, has concluded a three-day visit to Afghanistan where he spent time with Canadian Forces members, Government of Canada representatives and Afghan officials, including General Abdul Rahim Wardak, Afghanistan's Minister of Defence.

During his 14th visit to Afghanistan, Minister MacKay took the opportunity to meet with Canada's ambassador to Afghanistan, as well as with CF personnel at the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Headquarters in Kabul, and took a first-hand look at a number of the academies, training facilities and military installations in Kabul and Kandahar regions.

"It always brings me great pride to see with my own eyes the fantastic job the Canadian Forces are doing on the ground in Afghanistan," said Minister MacKay. "Their continued determination and commitment to assisting the people of Afghanistan rebuild their country will never cease to amaze me. They truly are a credit to Canada."

Canada is ending its UN-mandated, NATO-led combat mission in Kandahar province in July 2011 and beginning a non-combat, Kabul-centered training role that will continue until 2014. This training mission will build on the CF's established expertise in training Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), thereby contributing to the goal of preparing Afghans to assume responsibility for their own security by the end of 2014. 

Notes to editor / news director: Imagery from Minister MacKay's visit can be found at the Canadian Forces Image Gallery at http://www.combatcamera.forces.gc.ca/.

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