The Australian and New Zealand contingent in Iraq Task Group Taji 9 has extended its mission with the Iraqi Security Forces beyond the weapons range as the public affairs and advise, assist and enable (AE2) teams combined to deliver a different kind of training.

Iraqi Army media cell personnel travelled from across northern Baghdad to take part in a series of public affairs training courses at the Taji Military Complex with Australian Army specialists.

Second-in-command of the team, Captain Tim Glossop, said the training provided a unique learning opportunity for personnel from an important and growing section of the Iraqi Security Forces.

“The A2E team engages regularly with our Iraqi counterparts on a wide range of operational matters and they were keen to take part in the public affairs training,” Captain Glossop said.

“These courses have been a great success and it’s an area in which I’m confident we’ll leave a lasting impression long after we have returned to Australia.”

The training included imagery capture, post-production techniques, public affairs mission planning and media engagement.

Iraqi camera operators participated in theory lessons and practical exercises.

Army photographer Corporal Nunu Campos said the Iraqis had an excellent baseline knowledge and that the course allowed for a focus on finer details.

“Their enthusiasm to learn was infectious and to have the chance to be able to run these courses was a highlight of my deployment,” Corporal Campos said.