Articles found February 8, 2011 American squadron to help Canadian forces combat insurgents in Afghanistan
The Canadian Press Feb 28, 2011 Article Link
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - An American squadron will head to Kandahar next month to help Canadian troops battling insurgents in the Dand and Panjwaii districts.
A 700-member Stryker squadron will take command of Dand in mid-March from the 1-71 Cavalry, which has fought alongside Canadian and Afghan troops since May.
Two companies of soldiers will go to Dand and a third will be deployed to Panjwaii.
Canadians Brigadier-General Dean Milner says the additional support will be a great help in an area that's been a staging point for rebels attacks in Kandahar city.
Canada's combat mission in Afghanistan is due to wind down in July.end Kandahar leader 'a bit afraid' of losing progress as military mission winds down Article Link
By: Tara Brautigam, The Canadian Press Posted: 03/3/2011
DEH-E-BAGH, Afghanistan - Canada's post-military legacy in southern Afghanistan may well rest on the slender shoulders of Haji Hamdullah Nazak.
The 32-year-old governs the district of Dand, a relative model of stability compared to the violence and intimidation that permeates other regions of Kandahar province.
But as the Canadian military gradually shifts its focus away from patrols and towards packing boxes for a training mission said to be "Kabul-centric," Nazak frets over the possibility of lost progress.
"I'm a little bit afraid of that," Nazak says through a translator. "If they stopped helping us, assisting us in this major purpose, we will face some challenges, problems."
Nazak — described by Brig.-Gen. Dean Milner as "a brilliant guy" — has served as Dand's governor for four years, a veritable lifetime in the cutthroat world of Afghan politics.
Within Canada's area of operations over the last nine months, one district governor has been shuffled out and another was killed in a car bombing.
Nazak himself has survived at least eight assassination attempts. Outside his office stand several armed men. He travels in armoured vehicles and changes his daily schedule sometimes on the fly to keep his enemies off-balance.More on link Heavy rains help Afghan farmers, frustrate troops Article Link
Road-building project now a quagmire, but hopes are high for a good crop year
By KEITH GEREIN, Postmedia News March 8, 2011
A flurry of storm activity over the past few weeks is muddying the progress of a key road Canadian troops are building through a volatile district west of Kandahar City.
"We were ahead of schedule because some parts of the project went very fast, but that changed when the bad weather came in," said Capt. Jean-François Huot, deputy commander of the engineer squadron serving with the Canadian battle group in Afghanistan. "I don't think it's right to say we're now behind schedule, but work has not progressed much in the last couple of weeks."
Normally known for being hot, dry and dusty, Kandahar province has recently been hit with a spate of wet weather that locals have not seen in years. Rain fell nearly every day last week, including a pair of thunderstorms as ferocious as a midsummer tempest on the Alberta prairies. More precipitation is expected in the days ahead.
Such forecasts are bad news for the Canadians, who are in a race to extend the road deep into the western tip of the Panjwaii district. The thoroughfare, when completed, will provide rural residents easy access to buy and sell goods in Kandahar City, but for the moment, the wet conditions have turned parts of the project into an impassable bog.More on link Force Protection expanding into Canada
By Allyson Bird Tuesday, March 8, 2011 Article Link
Ladson-based armored vehicle maker Force Protection Inc. continues its global expansion, most recently with a nudge to the north in the formation of a subsidiary in Canada.
The new company, Force Protection Survivability Solutions Canada Inc., is being set up as the parent pushes for a contract with the Canadian Ministry of Defense for its Tactical Armored Vehicle Patrol. More on link A nurse’s journey from sand to snow Article Link
By Megan Cole - The Free Press
Published: March 07, 2011 2:00 PM
A Fernie nurse has seen the trauma of the Afghanistan war, but says that there are many similarities between being a nurse in the Elk Valley and serving as a nurse in Afghanistan.
“I don’t think there is much difference to be honest,” said Jo Ann Hnatiuk, clinical practice educator at the Elk Valley Hospital and reservist with the Canadian military. “You need to be resilient for both places.” She said. “In Fernie and Afghanistan, we don’t have the back up of a big city centre, and you have to be creative and adaptive for both places.”
Hnatiuk grew up in Saskatoon, moving to Calgary in the late ‘90s. She began working casually at the Elk Valley Hospital in 2003.
She said that one obvious difference between Afghanistan and Fernie is the significance of the devastation.
Hnatiuk did her first tour as a reservist nurse in October 2005.More on link Major Ryan Stich
Global Regina: Monday, March 7, 2011 Article Link
Major Ryan Stich
Call sign: Scrape
“When the time came we would run in, drop bombs, run out, get gas again and then fly an hour back up the Adriatic.”
That was a typical day for Major Ryan Stich in the late 90’s when Canada was part of a NATO-led coalition flying bombing missions over Bosnia and Kosovo.
One of just two current Snowbird pilots who have seen combat in a theatre overseas, Stich remembers the days well.
“Having had the opportunity to travel and see the conflict in which other people live around the world, you have a much greater appreciation for what we have here, and a greater realization of what it costs to have that,” he said of his experience.
More recently Stich has completed three tours in Afghanistan serving in a support role for Canadian troops.
“I was working in an ops centre in a fairly safe location while there are guys out on the ground. It becomes emotionally more distressing because you know that your inability to do what you need to do may cost someone else their life,” he said. “And that becomes intensely more emotional.”
Both experiences have changed the rookie Snowbird’s outlook on the military and its purpose. Stich isn’t shy about admitting that when he first joined the military he didn’t have goals any more noble than just flying fast airplanes.
“Somewhere along the way I started to adopt some of the institution’s ideals, about defending democracy and protecting Canada and Canadian interests,” he said. More on link