The Iraqi Army School of Infantry Non-Commissioned Officer II (SINCOII) at the Taji Military Complex has reached the full independent operating capability.

The achievement marks a key operational milestone for the Task Group Taji Australian and New Zealand combined military training force.

The Task Group Taji train-advise-assist mission has been supporting SINCOII in support of an international programme to build the capacity of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF ).

SINCOII has become the first Iraqi military training institute to achieve full independent operating capability under the Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) military intervention against the Islamic State.

The capability will now allow Iraqi instructors to deliver training independently.

Despite handing over responsibility for all training to the Iraqi personnel, Australia and New Zealand will continue to provide support in the form of institutional advice, mentoring and guidance, albeit with a reduced troop deployment.

Joint Task Force 633 Middle East commander Rear Admiral Mark Hill said: “By playing their part in achieving this significant milestone, the Australian and New Zealand defence forces have again proved the effectiveness of our Build Partner Capacity Mission in Iraq.

“I congratulate our friends and colleagues in the Iraqi Security Forces on this achievement, which will help prevent the re-establishment of Daesh in their country.”

Task Group Taji commander colonel Mick Bassingthwaighte expressed confidence that SINCOII will be able to function as an independent organisation and deliver quality training to Iraqi Army brigades.

Bassingthwaighte said: “The soldiers who trained here are directly involved in ongoing security operations aimed at minimising any chance Daesh has of re-establishing itself as a destabilising terrorist threat.”

Since 2015, the mission has trained more than 46,000 Iraqi personnel.