Iraqi soldiers in safe hands thanks to Task Group Taji

ON TARGET: Australian Army officer Captain Patrick Carmody from Task Group Taji 4 analyses an Iraqi Army soldier's shooting accuracy at Al Taqqadum, Iraq.
ON TARGET: Australian Army officer Captain Patrick Carmody from Task Group Taji 4 analyses an Iraqi Army soldier's shooting accuracy at Al Taqqadum, Iraq. CPL Kyle Genner

AUSTRALIAN and New Zealand soldiers are upholding the proud Anzac tradition with a training program in Iraq.

Task Group Taji is a combined force of about 100 New Zealand and 300 Australian Defence Force personnel based north of Baghdad.

Since May 2015, the combined Anzac task group has trained more than 22,000 members of the Iraqi Security Forces, providing training in weapons handling, marksmanship, explosive hazard awareness, combat first aid, urban operations, obstacle breaching techniques, vehicle check points, Law of Armed Conflict and combined arms operations.

Commanding Officer of the Training Task Unit Lieutenant Colonel Chris Gardiner, said more than 1200 Iraqis have been trained by mobile training teams who delivered instruction at secure locations outside of the Taji Military Complex.


Australian and New Zealand Army trainers conduct marksmanship training with the Iraqi Army.
Australian and New Zealand Army trainers conduct marksmanship training with the Iraqi Army. CPL Kyle Genner

"The Mobile Training Teams have made a significant contribution to mission success by bringing training to Iraqi Security Forces who are unable to travel to Baghdad due to operational requirements in their home location," he said.

"In the Anbar region, for example, they are supporting Iraqi security forces as they continue their fight against Daesh and maintain security in Ramadi, Fallujah and the Euphrates River valley."

The MTTs include force protection elements and trainers, who deliver instruction to small groups of eight soldiers, through to company-level formations of up to 120 soldiers.

The senior New Zealand Defence Force officer to Rotation Four said the New Zealand and Australian trainers were valued by their international coalition partners.

"They have a reputation for high standards of professionalism," he said.

"They are also highly respected by the Iraqi trainees who are using the skills they have been taught in their fight against the Daesh terrorist group.

"It remains evident every day that the combined Anzac Task Group is making a difference in Iraq."

Topics:  iraq war on the radar

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