(Op Apollo, Athena, Archer)
As a response to the events of 11 September 2001, 3 PPCLI with C Coy, 2 PPCLI attached was sent to Afghanistan as part of Canada’s
contribution to the War on Terror. It marked the first time since the Korean War that Canada had sent soldiers overseas on a combat specific operation. 3 PPCLI operated out of Kandahar Airfield (KAF) as part of the US 187th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division. The Third Battalion performed numerous combat operations against Al-Qaeda and Taliban insurgents. The 3 PPCLI BG served on OP APOLO from 4 February to 30 July 2002. In 2004, B Company, 1 PPCLI and Reconnaissance Platoon, 3 PPCLI deployed as part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) on OP ATHENA, ROTO 2 in Kabul, Afghanistan. Both PPCLI elements returned from the mission in February, 2005.
In 2005 the CAF moved back to southern Afghanistan, concentrating its efforts on Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRT), Operational Mentoring and Liaison Teams (OMLT) and BG operations under OP ARCHER. The first PRT was built around B Coy, 3 PPCLI and deployed to Kandahar from July 2005 to February 2006. In February 2006, 1 PPCLI with B Coy, 2 PPCLI formed the nucleus of Task Force (TF) 1-06 and deployed as the first Canadian mechanised BG in Kandahar Province. February 2006 was also marked by the transfer of command of Regional Command South (RC South) from U.S. Colonel Kevin Owens (173rd (US) Airborne Bde) to Brigadier-General David Fraser (PPCLI). BGen Fraser commanded RC South until November 2006. However, individual augmentation from the Regiment to the muti-national HQ continued until 2011.
During 2006 and 2007, Patricia battalions supported two RCR BGs with attached companies. In 2008 the 2 PPCLI BG deployed with the 3 PPCLI OMLT and 1 PPCLI returned to Kandahar in 2009 as last Patricia BG, along side the second 3 PPCLI OMLT. As the combat mission concluded in 2011, B Coy, 1 PPCLI deployed with the Mission Transition Task Force (MTTF) as the CAF focus once again returned to training the Afghan National Army (ANA) in Kabul. It was there that 3 PPCLI once again took the lead on TF 1-11 in establishing OP ATTENTION Roto 0. The majority of 3 PPCLI was deployed for 10 months and assisted in training and fielding ANA combat units. The summer of 2013 marked the Regiment’s last major contribution to OP ATTENTION, when 2 PPCLI formed the nucleus of TF 2-13.