Some soldiers from Canadian Forces Base Gagetown, who are currently serving in Afghanistan, may be returning home sooner than expected.
The 450 soldiers with the Second Battalion Royal Canadian Regiment are helping train soldiers and police with the National Afghan Security Forces as part of a new non-combat role.
Their mission was expected to end in October, but some of the troops could be back in New Brunswick as soon as the summer, said Lt.-Col. Alex Ruff.
The early departure shows the Afghan security forces are ready to take on more responsibilities, he told CBC News from Camp Phoenix in Kabul.
'It’s really a testament to our soldiers, working themselves out of a job.'—Lt.-Col. Alex Ruff
"They're keen to take over ownership of their own country and not rely upon coalition forces," said Ruff.
"However, at the same time, they definitely appreciate the support that they're getting and we're going to continue to help them build that so that they have that ability to eventually down the road…be able to do everything on their own."
The soldiers are working with the Afghans to help develop leadership and other professional skills in the areas of health care, literacy and policing.
"It’s really a testament to our soldiers, working themselves out of a job," said Ruff.
But it's also a "warrior culture," he said.
"They've been here a long time. So they understand how to train soldiers.
"It was more the process and some of the additional planning that they're struggling with. So, it's more those type low-level leadership and low-level tactics that they're able to teach on their own and it's more the institutional and the larger planning and logistical support and advice that they still require from coalition forces."
Ruff expects decisions about how many soldiers can come home early and when will be made within the next few weeks in conjunction with NATO and the federal government.
Petria Leslie, whose 25-year-old son Brennan Leslie is on his second tour of duty in Afghanistan, said she is thrilled about the news of an early return.
"The first feeling is very happy, relief, ecstatic, definitely," she said.
Leslie said she thinks about her son every day.
This is the second deployment of Canadian soldiers on this new non-combat mission.
NATO is currently mulling over whether to end the combat mission in Afghanistan earlier than anticipated.
Two countries, France and the United States are calling upon Afghan forces to take the lead in all combat training by 2014.