NZDF

Iraqi Security Forces March Out

Soldiers of the Iraqi 76th Brigade are the first to graduate from New Zealand and Australian Defence Force training, with the group leaving Taji Military Camp to join the fight against Daesh.
Soldiers of the Iraqi 76th Brigade are the first to graduate from New Zealand and Australian Defence Force training, with the group leaving Taji Military Camp to join the fight against Daesh.

30 June 2015

Soldiers of the Iraqi 76th Brigade are the first to graduate from New Zealand and Australian Defence Force training, with the group leaving Taji Military Camp to join the fight against Daesh.

More than 700 soldiers from the brigade, which is part of the 16th Division of the Iraqi Army, marched out on Sunday at the conclusion of its training, the first cohort in the Australian/New Zealand Building Partner Capacity training mission at Taji.

Commander Joint Forces New Zealand Major-General (MAJGEN) Tim Gall said the eight-week training programme has been well-received by the Iraqi troops.

“Our trainers have covered a range of individual and military skills, including basic weapons handling, small group tactics, urban operations as well as the planning and conduct of operations; including medical and logistics support.

“The aim from the start was to get these soldiers to a standard agreed by the Iraqi Ministry of Defence and we have achieved that.”

MAJGEN Gall said he was both proud of the training outcome, and the work New Zealand Defence Force personnel had undertaken to establish themselves at Taji Military Camp.

“Working with the other coalition partners and getting this training delivered within just a couple of months is a testament to how well-trained, adaptable and professional our personnel are.”

MAJGEN Gall said New Zealand trainers and support staff had learned quickly and were coping well with the environmental conditions including 40 degree heat, a dry wind and plenty of dust.

”Taji is an established military camp but it is a tough austere environment. Early support by an advance party of NZ and Australian soldiers meant critical infrastructure was developed prior to the main contingent arriving.

“Personnel are making themselves as comfortable as they can be – the food is good, the accommodation is basic but comfortable, there is a great gym for keeping fit  – our people are settled enough to be playing touch rugby, which is great to see.

“It’s also encouraging to watch the confidence of the Iraqis grow as they receive the training, and to hear from them that they are feeling confident and motivated to take on Daesh.”

A comprehensive pre-deployment training strategy was designed by a team of specialists including linguists, security force assistance, training evaluation, coaching and mentoring, and irregular warfare. The design team also looked deeply into cross-cultural adult training and cross-cultural adult learning.
As well as formal training, the New Zealand contingent is modelling the behaviours and values of a professional Army, demonstrating how a modern and professional defence force operates.

The Government announced in February the deployment of up to 143 New Zealand Defence Force personnel on a combined mission with the Australian Defence Force to help build the capacity of the Iraqi Security Forces, in order for the Iraqi Security Forces to tackle the threat of Daesh.

The Building Partner Capacity mission is a non-combat mission for a two year period, with a review to be conducted after nine months.

ENDS

This page was last reviewed on 6 July 2015.