Iraqi Army soldiers from the graduating class of the Non-Commissioned Officers' Academy Junior Leaders Course pass the NCO Academy's flag to the next training course during their graduation ceremony at Taji Military Complex, Iraq.
24 February 2016
About 250 Iraqi Army non-commissioned officers have just completed training provided by New Zealand and Australian troops at Camp Taji, bringing the total number of Iraqi soldiers trained by the ANZAC training force to over 4,000.
“This marks an important milestone in New Zealand’s ongoing contribution to international efforts to train and build the capacity of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF),” said Major General (MAJGEN) Tim Gall, Commander Joint Forces New Zealand.
“Building the capability of the ISF to a level necessary to secure the defeat of ISIL will take time. What is encouraging is that the Iraqis are regaining their confidence and have begun to demonstrate, like in Ramadi, the capability and determination they need to mount a successful counter-offensive,” MAJGEN Gall said.
The newly graduated non-commissioned officers include the third group of ISF members who have completed the Junior Leaders Course. A new training audience will start the course in mid- March.
New Zealand has deployed 106 troops to support the Building Partner Capacity mission — an international effort to combat the terrorist organisation ISIL by helping to train the ISF.
One of the brigades trained by the combined New Zealand-Australian task group was involved in the counter-offensive in Ramadi late last year.
Task Group Taji provides training on weapons handling, combat first aid, live fire training, building clearances, obstacle breaching techniques, counter-IED (Improvised Explosive Device), map reading, tactics and techniques for squad through to company-level operations, marksmanship, and leadership.
All ISF members are also taught the fundamental aspects of international human rights law and the Law of Armed Conflict.
“We expect more ISF members will be trained in coming months, showing the Iraqi government’s regard for the value of the training programme and the enhanced capabilities of their trained forces,” MAJGEN Gall said.