Training Baghdad Fighting School Instructors
17 October 2018
Iraqi Army instructors from the Baghdad Fighting School have taken a positive step towards independent training after running live fire range practices on their own, with Task Group Taji trainers supervising in a mentoring role.
Australian and New Zealand trainers supervised the Baghdad Fighting School instructors as they led the training of Iraqi soldiers from 41st Brigade in M16 rifle zeroing and marksmanship.
Task Group Taji trainer Corporal Eamon Baldwin said they provided pre-mission instructor development, observed the training and provided feedback afterwards.
“We were there to provide assistance, but never stood on their toes, we just let them continue the practice and by the end of the week they were performing to an excellent standard, providing really good training and feedback to the Iraqi soldiers,” Corporal Baldwin said.
The Iraqi soldiers improved their marksmanship because of the training.
“It shows that their method of teaching is delivering results and with more practice and more time doing that role they’ll keep developing better results.”
‘Sergeant K’ was one of the Baghdad Fighting School instructors who delivered the training and said they enjoyed taking the lead.
“We are so proud that we trained Iraqi soldiers ourselves with the Australians and New Zealanders just supervising us,” he said.
Having Baghdad Fighting School instructors take more responsibility and ownership of their training is one of Task Group Taji-7’s main goals with much of the focus being on mentoring the instructors as they train Iraqi soldiers.
The instructors are mentored on how to plan, organise, deliver and assess a wide range of training packages, focussing primarily on core infantry skills such as shooting, marksmanship, field craft and first-aid.
As each Iraqi Army Brigade rolls through the Baghdad Fighting School, Task Group Taji instructors take more of a back seat and let their Iraqi counterparts take the lead.
“By focusing on the Baghdad Fighting School, it allows the Iraqi Army to effectively train their own soldiers by their own means and will eventually require less and less assistance from the Coalition,” Corporal Baldwin said.
“There has been a marked improvement in a short time – it’s really been with this Brigade where they’ve taken more of a lead and taken on every role more as trainers than observers.
“It’s really good to see because the things we teach them are what they then teach the soldiers and will create a much more effective force.”
Task Group Taji-7, together with the Baghdad Fighting School, have so far trained around 1800 soldiers from the 59th Iraqi Army Brigade and are currently training around 1400 infantry from the Iraqi Army 41st Brigade.
“The training team does a good job with training and logistics, they show us new techniques, thoughts and improved approaches,” Sergeant K said.
Task Group Taji-7 consists of around 300 Australians and 100 New Zealanders and will be deployed to train Iraqi Security Forces until December 2018.
Since first beginning the mission in 2015, Task Group Taji has trained around 38,000 members of the Iraqi Security Forces and law enforcement agency personnel.