NZDF welcomed home from second-last Camp Taji deployment
The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) last night welcomed home the second-last contingent of personnel who have been serving as part of the Building Partner Capacity Mission in Iraq.
The NZDF has now deployed its 10th and final rotation of personnel to Taji Military Complex.
Commander Joint Forces New Zealand Rear Admiral Jim Gilmour said the final contingent brought the total number of personnel who have been deployed to Camp Taji since the mission began in May 2015 to a little more than 900.
“The numbers of personnel have been reduced from 75 in the previous rotation to 45 in the current rotation,” Rear Admiral Gilmour said. “We are reducing the number of personnel deployed to Camp Taji in line with the conclusion of the mission. Planning is under way with the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to ensure a smooth transition out of the mission by 30 June, 2020.’’
NZDF and ADF personnel have been delivering training jointly to Iraqi Security Forces in Camp Taji and more than 46,000 personnel have been trained since the mission began.
Training initially included individual soldier skills, including weapons handling and marksmanship at close quarters and longer ranges, combat first aid and obstacle-breaching techniques, as well as counter improvised explosive device and explosive hazard awareness training.
Iraqi Security Forces personnel have also been taught international human rights law and the Law of Armed Conflict.
The Building Partner Capacity mission was designed to progress from the delivery of training of soldiers to mentoring Iraqi Security Forces instructors, so that they have the capability and support to conduct their own training programmes.
Rear Admiral Gilmour said that with the shift in focus from individual training to training the trainers and ultimately institutional mentorship, the Iraqi Security Forces instructors at Taji were now well equipped to deliver training to their soldiers after New Zealand withdraws.