Friday, November 23, 2007

Maybe fewer firefights in our Afghan future

So far this CP story does not seem to have been printed in our papers (other than the Calgary Sun) or noticed by the electronic media:
New roles for troops in Afghanistan

LAKOKHEL, Afghanistan -- Canadian troops arriving in Afghanistan in the future will find a rapidly changing military landscape, says the new commander of the Canadian Forces mentoring program.

Col. Francois Riffou said troops will have to adjust to these changes, which will mean problems for both those arriving in the Afghan theatre for the first time and for those who have been away for least a year.

While soldiers in a previous rotation may have been largely in a combat role, that is changing with the growing competency of the Afghan National Army, Riffou said.

Troops are also being used to mentor the Afghan National Police. Combat-tuned soldiers may therefore not like where they eventually end up, said Riffou, who takes over the mentoring program when the next rotation of troops arrive in February.

"There's a lot of education to be done inside the army for those coming back," said Riffou. Newcomers will still have to learn to work with security personnel who often don't understand English and whose culture is much different. There are efforts to simulate the conditions in Afghanistan before deployment, with training sites such as the one in Wainwright.

But, Riffou said even this kind of advance training can't fully prepare soldiers for the hottest days of the Afghan summer.

"It's hard country," he said.


Post a Comment

<< Home