Australian and New Zealand forces to train another 2,000 Iraqi soldiers


Task

The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) has announced that Australian and New Zealand armed forces are preparing to train another 2,000 soldiers for Iraqi operations.

The combined task group in Iraq has already trained more than 2,100 soldiers belonging to 1st Battalion, 71st Iraqi Army Brigade, who completed approximately two weeks of training in June.

Training task unit commanding officer lieutenant colonel Ash Collingburn said: "Training this brigade represents a significant contribution to combat Daesh.

"We are anticipating being able to achieve a higher standard of training because of the experience already held within the brigade."

The 71st Iraqi Army Brigade currently consists of approximately 800 Iraqi soldiers and is expected to receive reinforcements in the coming weeks.

Collingburn added: "The training package will be similar to what we have previously delivered, although we are anticipating being able to achieve a higher standard of training because of the experience already held within the brigade.

"This course will train another 240 squad leaders, drawn from across five divisions of the Iraqi Army."

This programme aims to train Iraqi Security Forces to a state where they are considered a self-sustaining capability for the Iraqi Government, and will also be supported by Spain, Italy, Germany, Denmark, Netherlands and the US.


Image: An Australian Army soldier with soldiers from the Iraqi Army at the Taji Military Complex, Iraq. Photo: Corporal Matthew Bickerton / © Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence.