Brisbane based soldiers farewelled ahead of Iraq training mission

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The Hon Christopher Pyne MP

Minister for Defence

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19 October 2018

The eighth rotation of Task Group Taji were officially farewelled today, at a parade at Gallipoli Barracks, Brisbane, in front of a crowd of family and friends. 

The rotation, made up of approximately 300 Brisbane-based Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel, will help train the Iraqi Security Forces in their efforts to defeat Daesh.

Minister for Defence, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP said, the eighth rotation of Task Group Taji will continue to build on the legacy of previous rotations.

“Task Group Taji has trained more than 39,000 members of the Iraqi Security Forces since 2015,” he said.

“The training provided by Australian and New Zealand Defence Forces has been critical in the success of these missions and we should be very proud of the commitment and professionalism they have demonstrated.

“I wish the next rotation every success in their endeavours.” 

Task Group Taji is part of Operation OKRA, the ADF's contribution to the United States-led Global Coalition to combat the Daesh terrorist threat in Iraq and Syria.

The combined Australian and New Zealand Defence Force element, that forms Task Group Taji, delivers training vital to Iraqi Security Forces as they continue to conduct operations against the threat of violent extremism and ensure ongoing stability in Iraq.

The Task Group provides a broad range of training, including marksmanship, combat first aid, urban operations, combined arms operations and the employment of joint fires. 

Commander of Task Group Taji 8, Colonel Jason Groat, said the farewell parade of soldiers and other ADF elements drawn from over 30 different units was a long standing Defence tradition.

“It’s an opportunity for our soldiers to receive recognition for the important work they are about to do, and for family and friends to provide them with best wishes,” Colonel Groat said.

The soldiers have completed intensive training in the lead up to their deployment, including cultural and language lessons, medical training, weapon drills and unarmed combat training.

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