Australia has successfully completed its training mission at Taji Military Complex in Iraq, bring the major training mission to an end after more than five years and 10 Australian and New Zealand troop rotations.
FILE PHOTO (July 2018): Australian soldiers and Iraqi forward air controllers wave to the crew of an Iraqi Army helicopter as it departs at the conclusion of training at Taji Military Complex, Iraq. Photo by Corporal David Said.
Since 2015, Australia and New Zealand have trained more than 47,000 members of the Iraqi Security Forces through the joint Australia-New Zealand Building Partner Capacity Program.
Australia’s support at Taji has enabled the Iraqi Security Forces to increase its capacity to deliver its own training and conduct independent operations.
New Zealand withdrew its troops from Taji in March.
Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds commended the Australian Defence Force for its contribution to Task Group Taji.
“The ADF has been at the very forefront of the work at Taji,” Minister Reynold’s said.
“Last year, I saw first hand the incredible contribution our personnel have made at Taji, and had the opportunity to thank them for their significant efforts.
“The substantial progress made against Daesh and the increased capacity of the Iraqi Security Forces means that our training mission at Taji has reached logical and natural conclusion.”
In November 2019, the Iraqi School of Infantry was the first Coalition facility to declare full independent operating capability, enabling training responsibilities to be handed back to the Iraqis.
Minister Reynolds said the tremendous effort by Task Group Taji over the years reflected the scale of Australia’s commitment to the Global Coalition and our determination for a united and stable Iraq.
“Australia will continue to play a key role in the Global counter-Daesh coalition and provide support to Iraq through contributions to the Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service, coalition air capabilities and coalition headquarters.”