Operation Archer

© 2005 FrontLine Defence (Vol 2, No 5)

Kandahar, Afghanistan – On 16 Aug 2005, Colonel Steve Bowes assumed responsibility of the Kandahar Provincial Recon­struction Team (PRT) from the Americans in a Transfer of Authority ceremony. The Canadian Flag was raised here for the first time during this ceremony, which marks the beginning of the NATO expansion in Afghanistan. Members of Op ATHENA, in Kabul, are scheduled to move to Kandahar to take part in Operation ARCHER by December 2005. They will prepare for a larger Canadian contribution in this region with the deployment of a Brigade headquarters, a Task Force and a PRT in Feb 2006. 

Fittingly, the signing was conducted on a table overlaid with a fine Afghan carpet that illustrated the importance of the citizens of Afghanistan to be part of the process. This sentiment was also expressed in the   speech by Col Bowes when he said to the people of Kandahar, “Your goals and dreams for your country’s future are ours as well.”
 
The one constant in the changeover is the requirement for the Afghan people, in particular the Kandaharis in this region, to remain an integral part of the process. 

BGen Sterling, Deputy Commander Coalition Joint Task Force (CJTF) 76 praised efforts of the previous American PRTs noting, “The role of the US PRT has been to help an economy that has been ravaged by a generation of war. The PRT has rebuilt roads, wells, schools and hospitals. Much has been accomplished, with much yet to be done. Ultimately, success will have been achieved when Afghans are able to help themselves.” 
“The stability and security of Afghanistan is vital for the security of the world. Our vision of the Canadian PRT is that it reflects the Afghans great achievement and great hope for continued success. An Afghanistan that is peaceful, pluralist and prosperous,” said His Excellency Chris Alexander, The Canadian Ambassador to Afghanistan. 

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