Private Nathan Smith
Private Nathan Smith of the 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia?s Canadian Light Infantry (3 PPCLI), died on April 17, 2002, at the military training area known as Tarnak Farm, which lies on the outskirts of Kandahar City.
?We should never forget those who paid the ultimate price to serve our country? said Colonel Steve Bowes, the PRT commanding officer. ?Nathan is an example and an inspiration to all the young soldiers of this PRT, and those who will come after them to continue Canada?s commitment and help the Afghan people achieve their goals and desires.?
Pte Nathan Smith was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on June 28, 1975, and grew up in Porter?s Lake, Nova Scotia. He graduated from Seneca College with honours in underwater skills in 1997, and moved to Victoria, British Columbia, where he joined The Canadian Scottish Regiment (Princess Mary?s) in March 1998. He completed Reserve Basic Training at the Land Force Western Area Training Centre in Wainwright, Alberta, during the summer of 1998, and transferred to the Regular Force on September 24, 1998.
In May 1999, after completing Battle School, Pte Smith was posted as a rifleman to 3 PPCLI in the garrison at Edmonton, Alberta. In 2000, he deployed with the battalion to Bosnia-Herzegovina on Operation PALLADIUM, and in 2001 he completed the Basic Parachutist Course and was transferred to Parachute Company, 3 PPCLI. In February 2002, he deployed with the 3 PPCLI Battle Group to Kandahar on Operation APOLLO .
Most of the 250 soldiers currently serving with the PRT also belong to 3 PPCLI.
The PRT brings together Canadian military personnel, civilian police, diplomats and aid workers in an integrated effort to reinforce the authority of the Afghan government in and around Kandahar, and to help stabilize the region. To achieve these goals, the PRT conducts security patrols, contributes labour and resources to local reconstruction efforts, supports local governance institutions, and facilitates reforms in the security sector.
Task Force Afghanistan comprises about 1,000 Canadian Forces members, including troops in Kabul deployed under Operation ATHENA , and the military component of the PRT in Kandahar, deployed under Operation ARCHER . About 250 CF members are deployed in the Persian (Arabian) Gulf region to support Canadian operations in Afghanistan.
The Canadian contingent in Kabul is being reduced to a group of about 85 soldiers who will continue to serve with various Kabul-based military and civilian organizations. The rest — about 900 soldiers — are moving to Kandahar, and the relocation is expected to be complete by early December. The aim of this reorganization is to increase the effectiveness and impact of CF assets in the region. The task force in Kandahar will grow to about 2,000 strong by February 2006.