Canadian Special Operations Regiment Members Receive Awards for Valour

Backgrounder / June 7, 2013 / Project number: BG–13.019

In the spring of 2011, Taliban insurgents launched a series of coordinated attacks across Afghanistan and against key targets throughout Kandahar City. The attacks were an attempt by the Taliban to shift the fighting from the countryside to the crowded urban streets of the major cities.

On May 7, 2011, shooting rang out close to an Afghanistan Police checkpoint just outside the walls of the Kandahar Provincial Response Company compound.  As the shooting and the attacks around the city started to grow in intensity, the Afghan government decides to call the Kandahar Provincial Response Company to help quell the insurgent surge.

The Kandahar Provincial Response Company was a well-trained and well-led, limited-notice response force comprised primarily of Afghan police who are trained and mentored by members of Canadian Special Operations Forces Command. After brief orders were issued to the force, including their Canadian Special Operations Regiment mentors, they moved to the centre of the city to conduct a reconnaissance on the massive building they had been asked to clear by the American Force Commander. What they saw in front of them was a maze of vendor stalls and shops littered with rugs and tapestries capable of hiding even the largest enemy opposition force from sight. Over the next 24 hours, the Kandahar Provincial Response Company would face one of its greatest challenges and stretch its personnel, leadership, and mentors to its brink.

As a result of this event, on June 7, 2013, at Rideau Hall, His Excellency the Governor General presented national honours to the following deserving individuals:

The Officer Commanding of the Embedded Partner Team responsible for mentoring the Kandahar Provincial Response Company was awarded the Star of Military Valour.  On May 7/8, 2011, this member bravely led and mentored his team through a close quarter clearance operation of a multi-storied building. Under intense fire and at great personal risk, he valiantly coordinated multiple assaults and successfully neutralized the insurgent threat. This member was also awarded the Meritorious Service Cross for dramatically improving the operational effectiveness of the Kandahar Provincial Response Company, thereby enhancing both the Afghan Rule of Law and the overall legitimacy of the Afghan government.

A Detachment Commander within the Embedded Partner Team responsible for mentoring the Kandahar Provincial Response Company was awarded the Star of Military Valour. Throughout the night of May 7/8, 2011, this member repeatedly stepped into the line of fire in order to lead and motivate Afghan partners through a series of intense and extremely dangerous assaults against heavily armed insurgents. During a particularly intense portion of the firefight, with bullets passing through the fabric of his uniform, this member assisted in pulling a critically wounded Afghan partner from the line of fire, ultimately saving his life.

A Detachment Member within the Embedded Partner Team responsible for providing tactical casualty care and mentoring the Kandahar Provincial Response Company was awarded the Medal of Military Valour.  During the night of May 7/8, 2011, this member was involved in treating and transporting casualties for twelve continuous hours under intense enemy fire.

A Detachment Second in Command of the Embedded Partner Team responsible for mentoring the Kandahar Provincial Response Company was awarded a Mention In Dispatches. Throughout an intense and prolonged firefight on May 7/8, 2011, this member actively mentored and provided security, cover fire and casualty care to wounded Afghans.

In relation to the above-mentioned events that occurred on May 7/8, 2011, the Chief of the Defence Staff approved departmental awards for the following deserving individuals:

The Senior Non-Commissioned Officer Mentor of the Kandahar Provincial Response Company was awarded a Chief of the Defence Staff Commendation. This member expertly handled all aspects of resupply and casualty evacuation throughout the night of May 7/8, 2011.  He also provided exceptional advice and guidance to the Ground Force Commander on methods of resolving the situation and the employment of the Kandahar Provincial Response Company in a chaotic environment. 

The Platoon Medic of the Kandahar Provincial Response Company was awarded a Chief of the Defence Staff Commendation.  This member demonstrated outstanding devotion to duty and exceptional skillfulness in providing life saving care to wounded Afghans during a fierce and protracted firefight on May 7/8, 2011.  His efforts saved at least one life and directly contributed to the well-being of several others.

A Detachment Second in Command of the Embedded Partner Team responsible for mentoring the Kandahar Provincial Response Company was awarded a Chief of the Defence Staff Commendation. This member demonstrated exceptional perseverance and courage under fire while evacuating and treating several wounded Afghan partners on May 7/8, 2011.

It is with great pride that the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command, and indeed the greater Canadian Armed Forces community, acknowledge the distinguished leadership, courageous service, and self-sacrifice of the above-mentioned members of the Canadian Special Operations Regiment.

For security and operational reasons, recipients’ names cannot be released.

Viam Inveniemus (We will find a way.)

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