Operation ATHENA Closure

Joint Task Force Afghanistan

Joint Task Force Afghanistan comprised all Canadian Armed Forces personnel and assets deployed in southwest Asia on Operation ATHENA, Canada's military contribution to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.

The Mission Transition Task Force

The task force deployed on Operation ATHENA from July to December 2011 was Rotation 11 of Joint Task Force Afghanistan, known as the Mission Transition Task Force, and consisted of approximately 1,200 Canadian Armed Forces members.

Under the command of Brigadier-General Charles Lamarre, members of the MTTF were responsible for concluding all aspects of the Canadian military mission in Kandahar Province by 31 December 2011.

Role of the Mission Transition Task Force

The majority of personnel deployed on Roto 11 were logisticians and technicians who prepared, repaired, packed and shipped vehicles, equipment and material to Operation ATTENTION in Kabul or repatriated back to Canada. They also handled the transfer of infrastructure or goods that were left in Kandahar Province for coalition partners or the Afghan national security forces. This work is done on the base at Kandahar Airfield and supported by an Intermediate Staging Terminal located in Kuwait.

The MTTF also included Canadian Armed Forces members who filled the Canadian positions in various ISAF units or headquarters organizations. Each element of the MTTF returned to Canada when its work was completed. The flag lowering ceremony for Operation ATHENA occurred on 1 December 2011. Members of the MTTF will have returned to Canada by mid-December 2011.

Over the course of the deployment, the MTTF processed — loaded, inventoried and prepared for shipping — more than 2,700 shipping containers full of equipment and supplies, 16 aircraft, and more than 1,030 vehicles. Of the 5.5 million square feet of land used by the Canadian Armed Forces at Kandahar Airfield, 7,000 cubic metres of soil was found to be contaminated and remediated in accordance with Canadian environmental standards. As well, to date, more than 250 buildings have been transferred to coalition partners.

Structure of the Mission Transition Task Force

Commander: Brigadier-General Chuck Lamarre
Deputy Commander: Colonel Jim Davis,
Task Force Sergeant-Major: Chief Warrant Officer Stephen Jeans

  • MTTF Headquarters (about 180 personnel) to lead and co-ordinate the activities of the MTTF, directly supported by:
    • MTTF Headquarters & Signals Squadron (about 140 personnel) to tear down and repatriate the Canadian communications infrastructure in Kandahar Province and provide the MTTF with telecommunications support and connectivity
  • Mission Closure Unit (about 300 personnel) to carry out the primary tasks of the MTTF:
    • Equipment Collection Team
    • Maintenance Company
    • Supply Company
    • Movements Company
    • Ammunition Platoon
    • Contracts Management Team
  • Materiel Disposal Unit (7 personnel) to handle the sale, gratuitous transfer, loan, donation or destruction of items deemed surplus to Canadian Armed Forces requirements
  • Logistics Support Group (about 190 personnel) to provide the MTTF with maintenance and logistics services, comprising:
    • Transportation Platoon
    • Supply Platoon
    • Maintenance Platoon
    • Camp Services Platoon
  • Military Police Company (about 80 personnel) to provide policing, close protection and security services to the MTTF and ISAF organizations at Kandahar Airfield
  • MTTF Engineer Regiment (about 125 personnel) to ensure that Canadian infrastructure and sites at Kandahar Airfield are either dismantled appropriately or transferred to other users in safe condition
  • Force Protection Company (about 100 personnel), deployed from B Company, 1st Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry in Edmonton, Alberta, to provide protection and security for MTTF elements - such as the Equipment Collection Team - that must operate outside the wire, and to assist other MTTF units
  • Health Services Company (about 80 personnel), to close out Canadian Armed Forces health services activities at Kandahar Airfield and to provide medical staff for:
    • Role 1 Health Services Unit, the outpatient clinic serving the MTTF
    • Role 3 Multinational Medical Unit, the general hospital serving Kandahar Airfield
  • Tactical Airlift Unit to fly transport missions as part of the ISAF Inter-Theatre Airlift System and to conduct Canadian taskings, especially cargo movements required for mission closure in Kandahar Province and the build-up of Operation ATTENTION
  • The Canadian contingents at:
    • COMKAF (Commander, Kandahar Airfield)
    • ISAF Regional Command (South) Headquarters
    • ISAF Headquarters (Kabul)

Operational metrics (as of 28 November 2011)

Shipping containers processed

More than 2,700

Vehicles processed

More than 1,030

Aircraft processed

Numbers of structures to be transferred

More than 250

Soil remediated

7,000 cubic metres

Electronic records processed and repatriated

150 terabytes

Paper records processed and repatriated

120,000 pounds

Contracts reviewed and closed

More than 10,000

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