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Afghanistan Stage 3

Training and rebuilding

Canada’s combat role concluded. Our main objective shifted to continuing humanitarian efforts and helping the Afghanistan government become independent and look after their own country’s security.

Mid 2011 – March 2014


Canada in Afghanistan - Fallen Canadian Armed Forces Members

Search for family and friends who died in service.


Canada's combat role concluded. Our main role shifted to helping the Afghanistan government become independent and look after their own country's security. CAF members joined a NATO-led initiative to train and support Afghanistan's military and police forces. Canada's large-scale humanitarian efforts helped improve the lives of the Afghan people. By March 2014, Canada's military mission came to an end. Our troops finally returned home.

Operation Attention

Canada's combat role in Afghanistan ended in 2011. Operation Attention launched that May. This was Canada's participation in NATO's Training Mission–Afghanistan. It provided training and support to the Afghan National Army, Air Force, and National Police. The aim of the mission was to help the Afghan government build the capacity to govern themselves and provide security for their own country.

MCpl Dion Sylvain, Kandak Mentor Team (KMT) 4 Recce Coy mentors Afghan National Police members (ANP) at Camp Hero on a live fire exercise. Afghan National Police members (ANP) training and mentoring takes place at Camp Hero with a live fire exercise. The Operation Mentor and Liaison Team (OMLT) operate with their Afghan counterparts to provide training, mentorship and liaison services. Photo: DND AR2011-0018-013

A significant contribution

Canada provided up to 950 CAF members and 45 police officers to the training mission task force that was mainly based in Kabul. This made Canada the second largest contributor to the mission. They worked to help Afghan leaders design training programs and develop teaching skills. They also helped Afghan National Police and military members enhance their techniques.

Canadians also worked with the Afghan National Army. CAF members provided specialized training in fields such as medicine, logistics, communications and air operations.

Humanitarian aid

CAF members engaged in many humanitarian efforts in Afghanistan. They did this both as part of their official duties and during their own free time. Canadian initiatives included digging wells and constructing roads and dams. They rebuilt damaged schools and distributed medical and relief supplies. They also helped enable many young girls to go to school for the first time, and improved gender equity in governing bodies.

Governmental girl school in the Eraq valley, Shibar district, Afghanistan, on October 12, 2009. With the support of countries such as Canada the teachers have been trained by the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN). Photo: Canadian Armed Forces / AKDN

Canadians come home

On 18 June 2013, Afghan National Security Forces assumed primary responsibility for security across their own country. Coalition forces, however, provided continued support. On 12 March 2014, Canada's military mission in Afghanistan came to an end. The last of our CAF members lowered our flag there and finally came home.


Sadly, some 158 CAF members and a number of Canadian civilians died in the cause of peace and freedom while serving in Afghanistan. Many more suffered injuries that have taken an enduring toll on their physical and mental health.

Canadian Armed Forces members carrying the casket of one of their fallen comrades during a ramp ceremony at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan in September 2006. Photo: Department of National Defence AR2006-G020-010

A complex and challenging campaign

Canada's efforts in Afghanistan offered the Afghan people some relief from the violence and oppression under Taliban rule. More than 40,000 Canadian women and men in uniform—as well as hundreds of civilians and government officials—served in Afghanistan. CAF members helped the war torn country transition from its violent past as a haven for international terrorism towards a more secure future. The situation in Afghanistan continues to evolve. It remains challenging, but Canadians in uniform served there in the cause of peace and freedom.

Classroom materials

Classroom materials main page

Lesson plan: Ages 8-11

I Remember Afghanistan Word Search

Lesson plan: Ages 12–18

Remembrance Dog Tag

historical sheet

The Canadian Armed Forces in Afghanistan

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