Operation ATTENTION: Thanks, Roto 1! Welcome aboard, Roto 2!
Publication date: 7 November 2012
A communiqué from Lieutenant-General Stuart A. Beare
On 1 November 2012, Colonel Roch Pelletier officially replaced Colonel Greg Smith as Deputy Commander of the Canadian Contribution to the Training Mission in Afghanistan (CCTM-A). With this transfer of authority, our task force in Afghanistan currently the largest deployed by the Canadian Forces headed into its third rotation of service with the NATO Training MissionAfghanistan (NTM-A).
I am writing today to express my sincere gratitude to everyone who served during Rotation 1 of Operation ATTENTION, and to welcome the Roto 2 team to our ongoing mission in Afghanistan.
BZ to the Roto 1 team
On behalf of the entire Canadian Joint Operations Command family, I am proud to recognize the soldiers, sailors, airmen and airwomen of the Roto 1 team for the hard work and sacrifice they invested in Operation ATTENTION over the last eight months.
We thank the Canadian Army, the Royal Canadian Navy, the Royal Canadian Air Force, and our Special Forces community, your enablers, for providing outstanding people from all over the country. They prepared you to show the world what Canada has to offer this coalition mission of 52 nations.
Your families and friends your unwavering supporters deserve special thanks for their commitment to you. It is not easy to be separated from loved ones for so long, but their understanding and dedication helped you stay motivated and get the job done.
The relief in place from Roto 1 to Roto 2 is almost complete, and soon all the members of Roto 1 will be back at home, having passed on the torch.
To Major-General Jim Ferron, our Commander CCTM-A, and his Deputy Commander for Roto 1, Col Smith: We thank you and your team for all your efforts and accomplishments since April 2012 now part of Canadas legacy in Afghanistan.
Roto 2 has the con
Built around a solid core of soldiers from 5e Group-brigade mcanis du Canada in Valcartier, Quebec, Roto 2 also includes Regular and Reserve Force members from across Canada.
To Col Pelletier and your Roto 2 team and, again to MGen Ferron: Best of luck on this tour, and stay safe. We know you will serve the mission, your partners and each other well, and continue to represent Canada and our Canadian Forces superbly. You will continue the journey to Afghan-led security, and its sustainment by Afghans for decades to come.
To you, your home units and your families, we send our thanks, best wishes and unconditional support. Welcome to the CJOC family, and welcome to this stage of our long term commitment to success in Afghanistan, now in its 13th year.
Achievements during Roto 1
Moving on from Roto 0
Roto 1 was all about building on the excellent first impression Roto 0 made on our NATO allies and Afghan partners. Demonstrating the professionalism and dedication that is now expected of the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan, the Roto 1 team took the foundation laid by Roto 0 and added the framework for future deployments on Operation ATTENTION while continuing to provide valuable training support to Afghans.
During Roto 1, the effort focussed on three distinct areas:
- working directly with Afghan peers to offer training advice and guidance;
- supporting the NATO mission as members of the staff at NTM-A Headquarters or ISAF Headquarters; and
- supporting the task force as members of the CCTM-A National Command and Support Element.
Canada in NTM-A
NTM-As continuing purpose is helping the Afghan national security forces develop the capabilities and capacity to take full responsibility for their countrys security. Every day, Afghans show their growing ability to train their own with little to no support from NATO forces, and to conduct operations more and more on their own.
The team deployed on Roto 1 demonstrated the importance of Canada in NTM-A, where we remain the second-largest contributor, behind the United States. The Canadian contingent again staffed crucial positions at NTM-A Headquarters, and again provided the command team and a significant proportion of the training advisors at two of the most important training establishments of the Afghan National Army (ANA):
- the Kabul Military Training Centre, where soldiers complete their individual training, and
- the Consolidated Fielding Centre, where ANA units are formed and prepared for operational service.
CCTM-A members also served at literacy centres and other specialized schools where Afghan soldiers gain the knowledge and skills required for effective military operations in the 21st century.
Successful transitions to Afghan lead
During Roto 1, CCTM-A withdrew from ANA training centres where Canadians were operating last year, because the Afghan leadership and training cadre in those establishments were ready to run their programs on their own. This type of transition became the Roto 1 theme song.
On 15 April 2012, right at the beginning of the Roto 1 tour, 15 CCTM-A members deployed in Herat at the Regional Military Training CentreWest (RMTC-West) said farewell to their first assignment and moved on to other NTM-A positions. Shortly after, the Afghan training cadre and command team at RMTC-West attained the NATO standards indicating they were ready to provide training independently, and that facility made the transition to full Afghan control.
At RMTC-North in Mazar-e Sharif, all training is now delivered by Afghan instructors. In September, the Counter-Insurgency Training CentreAfghanistan at Camp Julien in Kabul was formally transferred to full Afghan lead.
Most recently, on 13 October 2012, the facilities of the Staff and Language Training CentreAfghanistan, the home of the ANA Junior Officer Command and Staff Course (JOCSC), were formally transferred to the Afghan Ministry of Defence. Instruction of the JOCSC, which is a program of the ANA Command and Staff College, is now entirely delivered by ANA directing staff.
These transitions indicate that Canadian efforts and those of our NTM-A partners are paying off, that the NTM-A program is effective and, most of all, that Afghans are willing and increasingly able to operate autonomously. Similar progress is happening in the rest of Afghanistan today, 85 percent of training in the Afghan national security forces is delivered by Afghan instructors.
Indicators show that transition of security responsibility to Afghans is on track and achievable by the end of 2014. Since May 2012, three quarters of the population live in areas where Afghan national security forces are in charge. All of the provincial capitals, 260 of Afghanistans 403 districts, and at least one region or city in each of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan are in transition. Throughout the country, more than 80 percent of military operations are Afghan-led.
During Roto 1 of Operation ATTENTION, Afghan security forces responded effectively to significant attacks, including two in Kabul (16 April and 22 June 2012). In both Kabul attacks, they arrived quickly to secure the scene, isolated the incidents, carried out well-coordinated clearance operations, and quickly returned the capital to normality. All the while, NATO forces provided only minimal support, at the Afghans request.
That is the truest test of the mission its intended effects, observable in action.
This story comes from Operation ATTENTION
Kabul, Afghanistan; 16 July 2012 An official of the Afghan Ministry of Defence delivers a lecture on policing and crime prevention to candidates on the ANA Junior Officer Command and Staff Course. (Image number AT2012-0075-04 by MCpl Cless Howse)
Kabul, Afghanistan; 20 July 2012 At the ANA Consolidated Fielding Centre, an NTM-A instructor shows two Afghan soldiers, members of a newly formed route-clearance unit, how to adjust the helmet of a bomb suit. (Image number AT2012-0079-04 by MCpl Cless Howse)
Kabul, Afghanistan; 20 July 2012 A Range Safety Officer helps an Afghan soldier adjust the sandbag bracing his M16 rifle during a grouping and zeroing shoot at the Consolidated Fielding Centre. (Image number AT2012-0079-19 by MCpl Cless Howse)
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