Canada’s role in this military missionbegins in secrecy amongst its first learned soldiers, placed in Afghanistan byDecember 19, 2001, for the start of Operation Apollo. About forty of thesoldiers had been on ground and in or surrounding the Kandahar province. Thelate invasion of 2001 was carried out by the United States, British and otherinternational forces. The Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, approximately1,200 troops followed them in this battle group, by February 2002. TheseCanadians had come south of Kandahar looking for insurgents in the area as partof the United States Army task force. In the capital city of Kabul, the Talibanregime was quickly intruded by Canadian-U.S. joined army and other internationalforces.
This was all possible because of Afghan opposition militants thathelped them. As part of the U.S. led counter-terrorismnaval campaign, warships were sent from Canada to southwest Asia.
There weren’tany ocean borders in Afghanistan, so the naval effort indirectly impacted themilitary situation there. The Navy patrolled on the Gulf of Oman and ArabianSea, securing the region. Also, they searched ships and other civilian vessels forsecret shipments of drugs that would be used for the funding of terroristgroups and wanted terrorists.
It was said to be the busiest naval deployment ofOperation Apollo, over the time period of 2001-2003. From bases in Halifax andEsquimalt, fifteen Canadian warships were sent to the region. Six otherCanadian ships along this area as well, with 1,500 personnel, had operated aroundthe same time in January 2002. This was Canada’s largest naval operation sinceafter World War II. Canada’s main contribution during the war,in Kabul and Kandahar, was maintaining an army of about 2,000 infantry soldiers,a strong air force and military equipment.
At different times of receiving, theinfantry soldiers had come with artillery, tanks and armoured vehicles. Theywere able to set up support units too. For instance, there had been a fieldhospital in Kandahar. Also, the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) contributed transportand tactical aircrafts, helicopters and unidentified aerial reconnaissancevehicles.