Breaking New Ground—Stories from Defence Construction Breaking_new_ground - Page 122

Construction Program Manager Janette Brodeur also served at Camp Nathan Smith. She recalls the impact the experience had on her: Whenever I am asked the question, “How was your tour in Afghanistan?” I always pause and reflect. My answer generally is, “It was an interesting life experience.” I got to experience a whole new culture, experience war from a front-line perspective, and (I) developed a large appreciation for how lucky we are to be born and raised in North America. I wanted to go for both the experience and to help in some small way to make a difference. This task is very difficult, given the situation in Afghanistan. However, on my last day at Camp Nathan Smith, I received an e-mail from one of the Afghan contractors that I worked with. His e-mail stated, “I want to thank you for your small efforts in trying to help rebuild my country.” This statement of gratitude made my tour! Former DCC Vice-President Steve Irwin noted in a 2008 interview that although DCC’s primary role in Afghanistan is to support the troops—with improved accommodation and amenities at the airfield, for example, and with the PRT—there’s also a strong aspect of nation building to its work. This echoes DCC’s overseas work in the 1950s, and extends beyond Afghanistan. In 2008, DCC participated in Operation Tropical Hammer, deploying staff to Jamaica to help Canadian and Jamaican Military Engineers and local contractors build classrooms, workshops and accom- modations for the Caribbean country’s Defence Force. As DCC was identified as a Military Engineer resource for deployment and became integrated into the CF deployment planning, DCC began to participate in other operational exercises. In 2008, for example, as part of the CF Military Training Assistance Program (MTAP) to other nations, DCC deployed staff to Jamaica, helping Canadian and Jamaican Military Engineers and local contractors build classrooms, workshops and accommodation facilities at three sites—an exercise that also provided invaluable training and experience for those deploying to Afghanistan. Environmental priorities As part of DCC’s emphasis on building expertise in environmental matters, the Corporation launched its own environmental management framework in 2000–01, implementing successive measures until the framework became fully integrated within DCC operations by 2006 with the goal of minimizing the environmental impact of DCC operations. For example, appliances are Energy Star rated, items are made from materials that are recycled, re-used and/or recyclable whenever possible, and energy conservation and efficiency 112 BREAKING NEW GROUND DEFENCE CONSTRUCTION CANADA