30 June 2015
Australian and New Zealand trainers are teaching Iraqi Security Forces sophisticated new techniques to fight Daesh (ISIS) and survive on the battlefield.
One of the most important survival skills in Iraq in the current conflict is defeating Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs); weapons commonly used by Daesh.
Commander Joint Force NZDF Major-General (MAJGEN) Tim Gall said counter IED training is an important survival tool for the Iraqi Security Forces.
“An IED is effectively a homemade explosive device designed to cause death or injury by using explosives that are hidden in a variety of places including roads, buildings, and vehicles and on their person, and set off using a variety of trigger mechanisms,” he said.
“We have been teaching the soldiers of the 76th Iraqi Army Brigade how to protect their vehicles and themselves from weapons such as IEDs.”
“These lessons require them to understand what types of IEDs are being used, how they are used, how to identify them and how to either deal with them or mark them safely (so they can be avoided) and carry on with the mission.”
Iraqi Security Force jundi (soldier), Ahmed Abbas Hadi, of the 1st Battalion, 76th Iraqi Army Brigade, has been under training with Australian and New Zealand forces from Task Group Taji since mid-May.
“We have learnt how to recognise and safely mark an IED,” jundi Hadi said.
“We have also learnt how to adapt our formations to suit the different type of IED threat.
“I am happy with the training; there is a lot of benefit from the exercises we conduct.”
The training scenarios the Iraqi soldiers are being tested on include clearing and identifying IEDs in buildings and mounted drills utilising their Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles, gifted by the United States.
“The training is very important to us,” jundi Hadi said.
“We are confident in the training, have good equipment and we are good to go.”
Jundi Ahmed Abbas Hadi, has now completed his training with the rest of the 76th Iraqi Army Brigade and graduated on Monday 29 June . He will now leave Taji and join the fight against Daesh (ISIS).
Improvised Explosive Devices are hidden in a variety of places including roads and buildings, and set off using a variety of trigger mechanisms, are a threat to Iraqi Security Forces fighting Daesh. ADF and NZDF personnel are not exposed to this threat within the Taji Military Complex, however we continue to monitor all potential threats and employ appropriate risk assessments.