Col. Danielle Savard, left, departing commanding officer at the Role 3 hospital, poses for photos with her replacement, U.S. Navy Capt. Darin Via at a change of command ceremony at RC South headquarters at Kandahar Airfield, Afgahanistan, Oct. 15, 2009. Photograph by: Bruce Ward, Canwest News Service
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan Canada is not leaving its combat role in southern Afghanistan for another two years, but a key command element is slated to return home in October.
Forty-four months after taking on what NATO intended to be a one-year assignment, the Canadian Forces will finally surrender control of the Role 3 Multinational Hospital at Kandahar Airfield, which has seen a major increase in trauma cases as the war turned bloodier this summer.
Unlike the decision to withdraw combat troops in 2011, this one has nothing to do with politics in Ottawa.
The world-class trauma facility, which is run out of a labyrinthine warren of makeshift plywood buildings and khaki modular tents protected by slabs of concrete near the world's busiest runway.Has been under the Command of Canada's Angels of Healing This is our last time to shine and we are shining right now, said Col. Danielle Savard, a career soldier who is the first woman and the first pharmacist to run the hospital. If you reach Role 3, your chances are pretty good that you will survive.
Keeping nearly 100 highly trained medical professionals in Kandahar for so long has stretched the tiny Canadian military medical corps, which has had severe shortages of doctors and other medical professionals.
Col Danielle Savard
It was difficult, but we handled it pretty well, Savard said, noting the medical staff was often augmented by reservists and civilians from Canada.
Five of those civilians were surgeons who were so taken with the work that they joined the military, helping to alleviate some critical shortages. Well done Canadian Doctors.
Maj. Marc Dauphin a Canadian major and a flight surgeon examines a young Afghan patient wounded in a Taliban attack, assisted by a nurse from New Zealand (left) and a US Army doctor (right) at the Role 3 Multinational Airport at the Kandahar Airfield which has seen a great increase in trauma cases since the war turned bloodier this summer. After 44 months at the helm, Canada turns over control over the world-class facility to the United States in OctoberPhotograph by: Capt. Remi Pelletier, Handout/DNDMaj.
A huge Bravo Zulu to all our brave medics, nurses,surgeons and all NATO Medical personnel who have done their utmost to save people in a terrifying land.
A Happy Correction I was in error of the departure date for the Gulf of HMCS Fredricton. They depart this month. The happy news is that some of the crew were able to have Thanksgiving with their families. One M/Cpl Crewman of the Helo section was able to spend time with his family here on PEI. Smooth sailing and Good hunting to M/Cpl Paul Ross, and his fellow shipmates. Watch CTV Live at 5 tonight Thursday 15 Oct for a tour of HMCS Fredricton.
Please mark your Calendar for Nov, 06,2009 Red Rally in Downtown Charlottetown 1130 am.
Remember Everyone Deployed
Nil Sine Labore