More than 100 Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel deploying to Iraq are being farewelled today in Darwin.
The 10th rotation of Task Group Taji will be a landmark rotation with the Iraqi School of Infantry leading the majority of training for the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), and the Australian and New Zealand contingent providing a mentoring function to the Iraqi school.
Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC said since 2014, Task Group Taji has provided a major contribution to the training of the ISF.
“The ADF has made significant progress in enhancing the capabilities of the ISF to defeat Daesh,” Minister Reynolds said.
“The ADF’s local partner, the Iraqi School of Infantry Non-Commissioned Officer II, is ready to deliver most of its training without the assistance of Coalition partners.
“This progress means Australia is in a position to reduce our contribution from around 250 to 120 ADF personnel.
“As Minister for Defence, I am so proud of their efforts and on behalf of all Australians, I thank them and the other 2,500 service men and women who have served at Taji.
“Together with New Zealand, Australia has trained more than 45,000 members of the ISF who have played an important role in combatting Daesh in Iraq, and I was proud to see their work firsthand on my recent visit to Taji.”
Australia is committed to the US-led Global Coalition to combat Daesh and will continue to cooperate closely with international partners to ensure Daesh does not reconstitute.
Task Group Taji is a combined Australia-New Zealand military training force deployed under Operation OKRA to build the capacity of the Iraqi Security Forces.
Other elements of Operation OKRA, including Australia’s support to the Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service and the contribution of Australian air assets will continue their operational activities for the duration of their deployment.