Iraqi training handed over to next rotation
5 December 2015
Task Group Taji Rotation 1 (TG Taji-1) formally handed over responsibility for training Iraqi Security Forces at the Taji Military Complex (TMC) in Iraq to Australian and New Zealand personnel of Rotation 2 on Thursday 3 December 2015.
The Transfer of Authority was recognised with a small parade during which outgoing Commander, Colonel Matt Galton handed over mission responsibilities to incoming TG Taji-2 Commander, Colonel Gavin Keating.
COL Galton praised the work of his soldiers during the past seven months and wished Rotation 2 well.
“We have trained over 3600 Iraqi soldiers which is a significant contribution to help the Iraqi Security Forces build their capacity to defeat Daesh,” he said.
COL Keating said his team was well poised to build on the successes of TG Taji-1.
“The first rotation developed the mission from scratch and set a very high standard,” he said.
“Rotation 2 will maintain this high standard and further develop Australia and New Zealand’s relationship with the Iraqi Army and our Coalition partners.”
The parade was attended by US Commanding General of the Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command – Iraq (CJFLCC-I), Major General Richard Clarke.
MAJGEN Clarke said TG Taji-1 had made a significant contribution to the regular Iraqi Army’s fight against Daesh.
“You are the ones who have been face-to-face with the Iraqi soldiers who are in the fight right now,” he said.
“The 71st and 76th Brigades all came through Taji and were trained by you and now they’re driving Daesh out of Ramadi and they could not have done that without you.
MAJGEN Clarke awarded COL Galton with a US Bronze Star medal during the parade for his exemplary command of TG Taji-1.
Also recognised during the parade were a number of Arabic language interpreters who supported Rotation 1.
TG Taji is a combined force of Australian and New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel consisting primarily of soldiers from the Australian Army’s 7th Brigade which is based at Gallipoli Barracks in Brisbane.
The Task Group comprises some 300 Australian Defence Force and 105 NZDF personnel.
Iraqi Security Forces will continue to be trained at the TMC as part of the broader international Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission.
Training ranges from marksmanship and building clearance techniques to obstacle breaching for squad through to company-level operations.
The BPC mission is one component of the Coalition’s contribution to Operation Inherent Resolve which consists of more than 60 nations united in an effort to degrade and ultimately defeat Daesh.
TG Taji’s BPC contribution is part of Australia’s broader Defence contribution to Iraq and Syria known as Operation Okra and includes a Special Operations Task Group and an Air Task Group
Imagery is available at: http://images.defence.gov.au/S20153474http://images.defence.gov.au/S20153474
Vision will be fed to the Canberra Press Gallery.
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