The bi-national, civilian Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team (KPRT) is located at Camp Nathan Smith in Kandahar City, the former heartland of the Taliban regime. Located in the South of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Kandahar is one of the Afghan provinces in greatest need of support and is also among those most targeted by insurgents.
Canada’s senior-most civilian in Kandahar Province, the Representative of Canada in Kandahar (RoCK), serves as the Deputy Director of the KPRT, with the U.S. senior-most civilian in Kandahar Province serving as the Director. Together they manage a team that combines the expertise of both Canadian and U.S diplomats and development specialists, Canadian police officers, including the RCMP, Canadian corrections experts, and the military. Canada has approximately 80 civilian staff working out of the KPRT.
The KPRT is one of 27 international PRTs across Afghanistan helping the democratically-elected government of Afghanistan extend its authority and ability to govern, rebuild the nation, and provide services to its citizens. To do so, the KPRT works on projects that have an impact in the short, medium and long term. The most important achievements will be those that foster long-term, sustainable benefits to the Afghan people. At the same time, “quick impact” projects are also being carried out across the province to respond to the immediate needs that Afghans face in their daily lives.
In addition to the bi-national KPRT, Camp Nathan Smith also houses a detachment of ISAF Regional Command (South) Headquarters, U.S. military forces and a U.S. Army military police unit. This co-location, and the partnership that exists within the bi-national KPRT, ensures that there is cohesion between Canada’s efforts in Kandahar province and those of the United States.
After five years of continuous responsibility for Camp Nathan Smith and the Kandahar City operating area, responsibility for the camp security and management was transferred from Canada to the United States in early August 2010 in line with the new division of coalition responsibilities in Southern Afghanistan. Accommodating several organizations including the KPRT, it is now a major coalition base in Kandahar City—an area for which the U.S. re-assumed responsibility in mid July 2010.
The August 2010 transfer of responsibility means that life support services such as camp security, health care, food and accommodations are now provided by the U.S. This administrative transfer does not affect the management of the KPRT or its focus on Canada’s six priorities and three signature projects.
Camp Nathan Smith received its name on 13 October 2005, in memory of Private Nathan Smith of the 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry Battle Group. One of the first Canadian soldiers to fall in Afghanistan, Pte Smith lost his life on 17 April 2002 at Tarnak Farm, in a friendly fire incident. Of the four soldiers killed in the Tarnak Farm incident, he was the most junior, having the shortest length of service.