Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

October 11, 2010 10:52 ET

Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs Complete Visit to Afghanistan

KANDAHAR AIR FIELD, AFGHANISTAN--(Marketwire - Oct. 11, 2010) - The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, and the Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of Veterans Affairs, have concluded a three-day visit to Afghanistan, where they met with civilians and Canadian Forces members and viewed first-hand the training and mentorship Canada is providing to the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF).

In Kabul, Ministers MacKay and Blackburn visited the Junior Officer Staff Course (JOSC), the primary component of the Staff and Language Training Centre - Afghanistan (SLTC-A), announced by the Government of Canada in 2008. This course includes a mentoring program that focuses on capacity building of the ANSF, thereby creating a more secure environment in Afghanistan. The Government of Canada, through the Department of National Defence, has committed $12 million towards the construction of JOSC facilities in Kabul; Canada has sponsored $2 million to date in support of JOSC training.

At Camp Nathan Smith, Ministers MacKay and Blackburn spoke with Afghan National Police (ANP) officers attending the Officer's Leadership and Management Course at the Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team Training Centre. The Officer's Leadership and Management Course educates ANP members at the officer level in leadership and mentorship skills, while giving them vocational training and improving support services in order to better serve the people of Kandahar. In addition to providing this course, the whole-of-government run Training Centre provides education for corrections officers and members of Afghanistan's judicial system.

"These vital training programs are great examples of Canada's continued commitment to building the capacity of the Afghan National Security Forces," said Minister MacKay. "As part of this UN-mandated, NATO-led mission, we are here to support the ANSF in building a better future for Afghanistan. We and our allies have one common goal; to rebuild Afghanistan through our support of the ANSF as they work towards fostering stability and security."

 "The work of our men and women in uniform is truly inspiring," said Minister Blackburn. "Our government is committed to providing them the equipment and resources to do the jobs asked of them as well as the care and services they need when they return home after a job well done."

While in theatre, Ministers MacKay and Blackburn spoke with General David Petraeus, Commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), and Ambassador Mark Sedwill, NATO's senior civilian representative in Afghanistan, as well as Canadian Forces members in various locations.

Contact Information

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