Combat engineers from the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand have shared their skill-sets over a two day exercise while deployed to Taji, north of Baghdad.
The training allowed the soldiers from the Commonwealth of Nations to compare and collaborate on different tactics, techniques and procedures, including classroom lessons on explosive breaching, search techniques and counter improvised explosive device (C-IED) training.
Practical lessons and demonstrations were also conducted at a range within Taji Military Complex.
The collective engineers mission is to train Iraqi Security Forces for their battle against Daesh, however they occasionally have a chance conduct their own training for professional development and to prevent ‘skill fade’.
A New Zealand Army captain said the engineers rarely get the chance to work closely together on tasks.
“We’ve really enjoyed having the chance to learn from each other,” he said.
“It will greatly assist all of us when working with each other’s nations on engineering tasks in the future.”
The engineers deployed with Task Group Taji are from a number of different units.
The British engineers include both mobility support and counter IED operators.
They are from 22 Engineer Regiment, and 101 (City of London) Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordinance Disposal).
The New Zealand engineers all hail from 2nd Engineer Regiment, and the Australians are from 3 Combat Engineer Regiment, 3 Battalion The Royal Australian Regiment, and 20 Explosive Ordinance Disposal Squadron.
A number of soldiers from other corps in the task group also took the opportunity to observe and participate in the training.
Australian Corporal Thomas Hallt said being part of a multinational combined arms task group is the reality of modern operations.
“The more we get to know and train with other nations, the more successful we will be on future missions,” he said.
“Taking this opportunity to observe not only our engineers, but also British and Kiwi engineers, has definitely added value here in Taji.”
Task Group Taji, Rotation Five, is a combined force of more than 300 Australian and 100 New Zealand military personnel deployed to train Iraqi Security Forces to defeat Da’esh.
Approximately 90 British military personnel are also attached to the task group. Over the past five rotations Task Group Taji has trained over 26,000 members of the Iraqi Security Forces.