KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — The Canadian air force will digitally map southern Afghanistan and especially the province of Kandahar for NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) and Afghan pilots and ground troops fighting the Taliban and al-Qaida.
An Aurora reconnaissance aircraft with highly sophisticated sensors and cameras is to be dispatched to the region to undertake what will be a major mapmaking project, according to Lt.-Gen. Michel Gauthier, who is responsible for all Canadian forces overseas.
“The aim is to have the best situational awareness we can have,” Gauthier said in an interview during his last visit to Afghanistan before leaving his position as commander of CEFCOM (Canadian Expeditionary Force Command) next month. “This superimposes a layer to do with the physical battle space that allows us to understand the operating environment.”
The state-of-the-art mapping project is to be “focused on the south and principally Kandahar and, of course, we will share it with anybody who will be operating with us,” the general said.
Parts of Afghanistan have very poor maps that are old and out of date, which has sometimes been a concern for battle commanders here trying to plan operations and soldiers who use them at the tactical level.