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Australia To Boost Iraqi Training

AUSTRALIA TO BOOST IRAQI TRAINING

Australian Defence Force personnel will soon be deployed to Iraq to provide crucial logistics training for the Iraqi Armed Forces, Australia's Defence Minister, Senator Robert Hill, announced in Canberra today.

Senator Hill said the ADF will undergo a transition from combat operations training to providing specialist logistics skills and expertise training to the Iraqi armed forces in the New Year.

"This specialist support will form the 3rd Australian Army Training Team Iraq and enable Iraq's military force to develop essential resources management capabilities," he said.

"While the bulk of the rotation team is not expected to arrive before mid-February, some ADF personnel will commence preparation work in Iraq later this month.

"Once fully deployed, the team will comprise approximately 50 logistics specialists who will train the Iraqis in areas such as supply operations and transport, including planning and the development of sustainable distribution methods," Senator Hill said.

The Australians would be based outside Baghdad away from the Australian Task Force headquarters.

The Minister said that the precise details of the training are still to be finalised, however it is anticipated that a significant component of the training will include train the trainer programs.

"This will enable the Iraqi forces to commence their own training programs and gradually improve the quality of logistic management within the Iraqi forces at an organisational level," he added.

Senator Hill said logistics training was one area of need identified by the Iraq Interim Government. The Interim Iraqi National Security Adviser Qassim Da'ud and Commander Multi National Forces General Casey had both stressed to Senator Hill the importance of Iraq being able to support its new infantry battalions.

"The benefits of assisting the Iraqi forces develop a better logistics system will not only improve Iraq's ability to provide their own security arrangements, but also contribute significantly to their ability to make the most out of their available resources.

"The Government remains committed to the people of Iraq and is pleased that it is able to make a further contribution to the reconstruction and rebuilding of Iraq.

"ADF personnel serving in the Middle East continue to provide outstanding support to coalition forces in many specialist fields as well as protecting Australian interests in Iraq," Senator Hill said.

Canberra 13 December 2004


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