Author Topic: Canadians not able to carry guns in Afghanistan back in May 2003??  (Read 4868 times)

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Offline swebb

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Hi everyone,

I remember back in May 2003 there was some political turbulence over the Canadian Forces deployed to Afghanistan weren't allowed to carry weapons and were assigned German bodyguards. I can't find a media source from then or even the House of Commons debate.

I have pulled up this:
"Unarmed in Afghanistan
Tuesday, May 6, 2003 --Canadian soldiers are back in Afghanistan, but this time, they don't have any weapons to help protect them. In Ottawa's rush to put Canadian troops on the ground, 25 elite Canadian soldiers arrived in Afghanistan only to find that they are not allowed to carry guns. What makes the situation particularly embarrassing is that the troops have been assigned German bodyguards to protect them. A Global National exclusive report."

Can anyone verify this? I need it for an op-ed.

Best wishes,

Stewart


Offline Simian Turner

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Re: Canadians not able to carry guns in Afghanistan back in May 2003??
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2015, 00:23:32 »
This lame attempt at humour was posted to many US discussion groups simultaneously.  The facts were a little different.  There was concern expressed in late April about the arming and rules of engagement for the planning, reconnaissance, logistics and engineering troops that would total 25.  See chronology of build-up below:

Source:  http://www.forces.gc.ca/en/news/article.page?doc=i-operation-athena-i-the-canadian-forces-participation-in-isaf/hnocfjjs

A Chronology of Key Statements and Events

February 12, 2003: The Honourable John McCallum, Minister of National Defence, made the following statement in the House of Commons: "Canada has been approached by the international community for assistance in maintaining peace and security in Afghanistan for the UN-mandated mission in Kabul. Canada is willing to serve with a battalion group and a brigade headquarters for a period of one year, starting late this summer. We are currently in discussion with a number of potential partners."

February 28, 2003: Chief of the Defence Staff General Ray Henault issued a warning order to some CF organizations to be prepared to meet the requirements of a potential deployment with ISAF. A warning order gives notice of an impending operation and is part of the normal process of prudent military planning; its purpose is to provide guidance on planning activities to be undertaken. It maximizes the planning time available to subordinate commands to prepare for deployment while awaiting further orders.

March 22, 2003: A Strategic Reconnaissance Team (SRT) departed for Kabul, Afghanistan, by way of the Netherlands and Germany. Among other things, the SRT confirmed command relationships and tasks, lines of communication, logistics support, engineering requirements, the existing infrastructure and medical facilities. It was an interdepartmental initiative comprising 22 representatives from the CF with one representative from the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT), and one representative from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). The SRT returned to Canada on March 31, 2003.

March 31, 2003: Two CF officers were assigned to liaison positions in Europe to initiate joint operational and logistics planning for Op ATHENA. One liaison officer went to the Multi-National Movement Control Centre in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, and the other went to the ISAF Operations Co-ordination Centre in Potsdam, Germany. Both liaison officers were already in Europe, serving in NATO-related assignments.

April 24, 2003: An Operational Reconnaissance Team (ORT) comprising 15 CF members and 10 civilians departed for Kabul, Afghanistan. Among the civilian members of the ORT were five employees of SNC-Lavalin/PAE to make an assessment of the support services their company could provide to the mission. Most of the ORT members returned to Canada after one week; six of the CF personnel with the ORT remained to continue planning.

April 25, 2003: A Transitional Planning Team (TPT) consisting of 11 CF members departed for Brussels, Belgium, and Potsdam, Germany to conduct detailed staff planning with our ISAF partners on issues such as logistics support, command relationships and tasks, lines of communication, engineering requirements, the existing infrastructure and medical facilities. The team returned to Canada on May 4, 2003.

April 26, 2003: A Liaison Reconnaissance Team (LRT) and a Specialist Engineering Team (SET) totalling 19 CF members departed for Kabul, Afghanistan, where they joined the six CF members of the ORT who stayed behind to continue their planning and liaison activities, and to work on engineering and logistics requirements, and camp design.

May 5, 2003: Minister McCallum announced that Canada would offer to head ISAF during the second six-month tour (Rotation 1). NATO will decide which rotation will provide the commander and the staff for ISAF HQ.

May 23, 2003-June 10, 2003: Vehicles and equipment to be used by Task Force Kabul were loaded aboard cargo ships in the Port of Montreal bound for Turkey. From Turkey, the vehicles and equipment were flown by chartered airlift (Ukraine Antonov-124 and IL-76 transport aircraft) directly to Afghanistan. The delivery of the entire shipment to Kabul was completed by early August.

May 23, 2003-June 1, 2003: The Theatre Activation Team (TAT) for Operation ATHENA, comprised of about 150 CF members departed for Kabul, Afghanistan. The TAT was made up of soldiers from the Canadian Forces Joint Operations Group based in Kingston, Ontario, and a defence and security element from the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment, which is based at Gagetown, New Brunswick. The TAT established the necessary in-theatre support infrastructure for Op ATHENA by facilitating the reception, staging and onward movement of materiel, advance parties, and the main body of Task Force Kabul.


Humour sources:

http://www.bayarearidersforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=28497
http://www.patriotfiles.com/forum/showthread.php?t=27320
http://www.discussanything.com/forums/showthread.php/31408-How-embarrassing?s=e328fa690b560676394583f1a6b2b82c

Discussion in House of Commons was quite minor:

Source:  http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&Parl=37&Ses=2&DocId=681671#SOB-511929

  > Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, we made a decision, based on a long-standing policy of all Canadian governments over a long period of time, that these activities should be done under the authority of the United Nations and the Security Council.

    In terms of fighting terrorism, we have 1,700 people in the gulf, and ships and planes at this time, and we are preparing to send a lot of Canadian soldiers to Afghanistan.


>Right Hon. Joe Clark: Mr. Speaker, Canada has pledged to take command of the defence forces in Kabul this summer. When that promise was made, the senior officer responsible for military planning resigned.

    Our Hercules are grounded. How does the minister plan to get our troops and supplies to Afghanistan? Can the minister tell the House whether Canada is able to fulfill its commitment without asking NATO to do the heavy lifting?

+-
    Hon. John McCallum (Minister of National Defence, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, NATO is not going to do any heavy lifting. The fact of the matter is the government is proud of the fact that we are making a very major commitment to Afghanistan which includes 1,500 to 2,000 troops over a six month period starting in August and the same number again for the following six months.

    We are working closely with our German allies and others. We are going to have a major impact, including $250 million in aid plus diplomatic efforts by my colleague in foreign affairs, to have a significant mass in Afghanistan and make a major contribution to that beleaguered nation.

« Last Edit: January 20, 2015, 00:37:31 by Simian Turner »
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Offline mariomike

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Re: Canadians not able to carry guns in Afghanistan back in May 2003??
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2015, 00:34:23 »
This lame attempt at humour was posted to many US discussion groups simultaneously.

It was also discussed here.

o my, canadian forces being assigned german bodyguards to protect them. that just defeats the purpose of having cf there in the first place. and not being able to carry weapons on deployment? what the h*** is that!

Unarmed in Afghanistan
Tuesday, May 6, 2003 --Canadian soldiers are back in Afghanistan, but this time, they don‘t have any weapons to help protect them. In Ottawa‘s rush to put Canadian troops on the ground, 25 elite Canadian soldiers arrived in Afghanistan only to find that they are not allowed to carry guns. What makes the situation particularly embarrassing is that the troops have been assigned German bodyguards to protect them. A Global National exclusive report.
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Re: Canadians not able to carry guns in Afghanistan back in May 2003??
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2015, 11:52:12 »
I was with India Coy, 2RCR when we arrived in Kabul - at the time our ROE were strictly self defence only, as the proper ROE were STILL under official review by the time we left in May.  That didn't mean we weren't bombed up to the gills - we had our first line ammo scales on us when we flew into Kabul, weapons in plain view, etc...we just didn't have formal ROE  ::).

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