New Zealand’s second rotation of Defence personnel bound for Iraq left home today to participate in a Mission Readiness Exercise in Australia.
The contingent of approximately 100 NZDF personnel included those who will deploy to Iraq for the Building Partner Capacity training mission, as well as exercise support staff.
During the week-long exercise at Enoggera, Brisbane, and other Australian Defence Force facilities, ADF and NZDF personnel will integrate into a single task group, which will deploy to Iraq together to train Iraqi security forces.
The exercise will include a series of scenarios designed to ensure the task group trainers are ready, and to demonstrate to their commanders that they are fully prepared for the tasks and environment they will face in Iraq.
The contingent includes trainers, health specialists, logisticians and force-protection personnel, as well as headquarters staff.
New Zealand’s acting Land Component Commander Colonel Rob Gillard said that although the combined training meant that New Zealand personnel would spend additional time away from home, it would provide valuable opportunity to develop relationships with their Aussie counterparts.
“The previous Mission Readiness Exercise proved invaluable as it enabled the first task group to hit the ground running when they got to Taji,” Colonel Gillard said.
“Task Group Taji, the combined Australian and New Zealand group which has been training Iraqi security forces since late April, is achieving good progress in enabling Iraqi soldiers through training.
“Approximately 2100 Iraqi soldiers have completed unit-level and individual specialty courses conducted by the task group.”