9 Dec. 2008
PR# 2008-693

Joint Task Force (Afghanistan) Air Wing Stood Up in Kandahar Province

Canadian Force Soldiers formed up on Parade in front of a D model Chinook. The Canadian Forces expanded its presence in the skies over Afghanistan as the Joint Task Force (Afghanistan) Air Wing was officially stood up at Kandahar Air Field on December 6. (ISAF photo)

KABUL, Afghanistan – The Canadian Forces is about to expand its presence in the skies over Afghanistan as the Joint Task Force (Afghanistan) Air Wing was officially stood up at Kandahar Airfield December 6. Afghan, Canadian and ISAF senior officers and dignitaries attended the parade, marking the important occasion.

“We are very proud to be standing up this new Air Wing and to be participating in Canada’s effort in Afghanistan,” said Colonel Christopher Coates, the Commander of the Air Wing.  “Our air and ground crews are experienced, skilled and enthusiastic about being members of this new unit.  They have trained hard to deploy here, and will continue to build and refine their skills in theatre so as to provide, enhanced support to fellow Canadians and our ANSF and ISAF partners on the ground.”

The mission of the new Air Wing is to conduct air and aviation operations that are integrated into ISAF’s efforts in Regional Command (South).  The coming months will be dedicated to the challenging task of building the Wing’s air capabilities that will enable it to provide ISAF with air assets that will enhance the security and stability of the Regional Command (South) area of operations.  The Wing will be working toward providing the task force with transportation, surveillance and reconnaissance assets that will contribute to mission success in Afghanistan.

“This new Air Wing will enhance our ability to conduct operations in Kandahar Province by providing safe and rapid transport of soldiers and enhanced surveillance assets that will help us isolate insurgents from the civilian population,” said Brigadier-General Denis Thompson, Commander of the Task Force Kandahar.  “By enhancing security, we will also accelerate Canada’s ability to work with the Afghan government and our international partners in bringing reconstruction, development, and good governance to Kandahar Province.”

The new Air Wing, which will be composed of four units and approximately 450 personnel, was stood up on recommendations from the Manley Report released earlier this year and as part of the conditions set out by the parliamentary motion to extend Canada’s military mission in Afghanistan until 2011.

Contact Information ISAF Public Affairs Office
Tel: +93 (0)799 51 1155 - Mobile: 0093 (0) 799 55 8291 pressoffice@hq.isaf.nato.int - www.nato.int/isaf/