Iraqi Law enforcement trainees complete Task Group Taji training

Photo credit: Al Jazeera

This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

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Around 1,900 police from Iraq’s Ninewah province graduated from the Taji Military Complex, on 16th February 2017.

Task Group Taji conducted six weeks of intensive instruction to the cohort comprising Sunni, Shia, Kurdish and Turkmen, as part of Australia and New Zealand’s expanded Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission.

More than 19,000 Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and Iraqi law enforcement personnel have trained under Task Group Taji since May 2015.

The Commander of Australia’s Defence Forces in the Middle East region, Major General John Frewen said the graduation marked a significant milestone.

“This graduation is an important event as these Ninewah policemen will help ensure that we not only win the current fight but, more importantly, we win the subsequent peace,” Major General Frewen said.

“Police forces are essential to building a capable and inclusive Iraq.” 

Task Group Taji-4 Commander, Colonel Richard Vagg said the graduates will undertake security and stabilisation tasks in and around Mosul, and in northern Iraq.

“Iraq’s security forces, including federal and local police, are playing the lead role in defeating Daesh – then defending, holding and stabilising liberated areas,” Colonel Vagg said. 

“Our current group of trainers from the Australian and New Zealand Defence Forces have provided more than 1,900 members of these forces with much-needed military skills.”

Iraqi Security Forces continue to lead the successful operation underway to liberate Mosul and maintain security in territory recaptured from Daesh.

“Hold forces such as the Ninewah Police are a key element in the ongoing clearance of Mosul,” Colonel Vagg said.

“They will secure the now cleared eastern side of the city, providing flank protection to the Counter Terrorism Service, Iraqi Army and Federal Police as they clear the western side.”

As more areas continue to be liberated from Daesh, strong and effective hold forces are a priority to maintain security and support stabilisation operations.

“The police are determined to defend their country against Daesh,” Colonel Vagg said.

Now in its fourth rotation, Task Group Taji is a combined force of around 300 Australian and 100 New Zealand Defence Force personnel.

BPC training includes Law of Armed Conflict, weapons handling, marksmanship, explosive hazard awareness, combat first aid, urban operations, obstacle breaching techniques and combined arms operations.

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