Australian and New Zealand trained Iraqi Army NCOs ready for Daesh

23 September 2015 | Media Release

About 200 Task Group Taji trained Iraqi Army (IA) soldiers graduated from the Taji Military Complex Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) Academy northwest of Baghdad this week.
Drawn from about 50 IA battalions, the graduates received instruction over approximately eight weeks in advanced medical care, weapon drills, marksmanship, navigation, small group tactics and leadership.
Task Group Taji Commander, Colonel Matt Galton said the Non-Commissioned Officer was considered the backbone of any army.
“The aim of the course was to produce confident, disciplined soldiers, who are physically fit, well-motivated and able to lead an infantry squad on the battlefield,” COL Galton said.
“These NCOs will pass on the experience and knowledge gained on the course to their fellow soldiers when they return to their home units.
“This is an important step in strengthening the Iraqi Army and its future.”
Graduate Private Karar Muhawish believes the course is another important stepping stone on the path to reclaiming Iraqi territory and defeating Daesh in Iraq.
“This is a very important course because of the enhanced skills I’ve received from the Australian and New Zealand Task Group. I will be able to pass these onto my fellow soldiers which will benefit us on the battlefield.”
Task Group Taji is the combined Australian-New Zealand military training force located at the Taji Military Complex northwest of Baghdad.
Task Group Taji is deployed as part of Australia’s Operation OKRA––the ADF’s contribution to the international effort to combat the Daesh terrorist threat in Iraq and Syria.
Operation OKRA comprises Task Group Taji, the Air Task Group, the Special Operations Task Group and a number of ADF personnel fulfilling coalition embed positions and liaison roles.
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Issued by Ministerial and Executive Coordination and Communication,
Department of Defence,
Canberra, ACT
Phone: 02 6127 1999 Fax: 02 6265 6946

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