Task Group Taji (Rotation 3) hands over
12 December 2016
Nearly 300 Australian Defence Force personnel have completed a six-month mission training around 9,000 Iraqi personnel to defeat the Daesh terrorist group as part of the broader international Building Partner Capacity mission to Iraq.
The Australians were part of the third rotation of Task Group Taji, which included some 100 New Zealand Defence Force personnel.
The outgoing Commander of Task Group Taji 3, Colonel Andrew Lowe, said the men and women of the Task Group had built on the achievements of their predecessors.
“We arrived in Iraq in May as the Battle for Fallujah began, and we depart in December with the Battle for Mosul well underway,” Colonel Lowe said.
“We continued the work of the first two rotations of the Task Group, and succeeded in training five Iraqi Army brigades of around 1,300 soldiers each, including two brigades simultaneously ahead of the Mosul campaign.
“In doing so, we have helped the people of Iraq as they seek to regain the sovereignty of their nation; we have also enhanced the reputation of our own armed forces.”
Chief Joint Operations Vice Admiral David Johnston, AM, RAN reflected on the achievements of Task Group Taji 3.
“In preparation for the increased operational tempo in Iraq, Task Group Taji 3 trained a large number of Iraqi Security Forces, providing them with key skills and the confidence to take the fight to Daesh.
“I am proud of the men and women of Task Group Taji 3, and thank them for their valued contribution.”
The training delivered by Task Group Taji included weapons handling, marksmanship, combat first aid, explosives hazard awareness training, and instruction in building clearances and obstacle breaching techniques.
The Task Group was also responsible for enabling the delivery of weapons, ammunition, combat equipment, fighting and logistic vehicles and communications equipment to four Iraqi Army brigades through the United States Iraq Train and Equip Fund.
Colonel Lowe formally handed over responsibility for the mission to incoming Commander Task Group Taji Rotation 4 Colonel Richard Vagg at a parade at the Taji Military Complex near Baghdad on Thursday 8 December 2016.
Imagery is available at: http://images.defence.gov.au/S20163161
Video will be fed to the Canberra Press Gallery shortly.