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What role is NZ playing in the global fight against the Islamic State?

 A new military training exercise tests out Australia's amphibious capabilities."

The first group of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) soldiers sent to Iraq has returned from their six-month deployment. The military personnel are on the ground training 2,000 soldiers from the Iraqi Security Forces as part of a combined Australia-New Zealand non-combat mission, Task Group Taji. 

First rotation of NZDF soldiers returns from Iraq

"The training results you have achieved with the Iraqi Army have exceeded all expectations."

Made up of 105 military personnel, the contingent arrived at Ohakea Air Force Base in the evening of November 16. There to welcome them home was the Commander Joint Forces New Zealand Major General Tim Gall and the Chief of Army Pete Kelly.

"On behalf of the New Zealand Defence Force, welcome home and thanks for a job well done," said Major General Gall.

"The training results you have achieved with the Iraqi Army have exceeded all expectations. Thousands more Iraqi troops are now on the front line with renewed confidence and skills."

Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee was also in attendance when the soldiers landed and said that the troops, and the ones remaining in Iraq, had much to be proud of. 

"They've gone into a dangerous environment and professionally established a training operation which is upskilling large numbers of Iraqi troops to better equip themselves to fight Daesh (ISIL)," said Mr Brownlee. 

Mr Brownlee also made reference to his visit in June and how proficiently the work was being undertaken particularly the way in which the NZDF troops were relating to the Iraqi soldiers. 

The non-combat task force is used to train Iraqi Security Force personnel.The non-combat task force is used to train Iraqi Security Force personnel.

What does the training cover?

The first deployment of the Taji Task Force arrived in Iraq at the end of April, with the training covering various aspects, including:

  • Weapons handling
  • First aid for combat
  • Live fire exercise
  • Key concepts of international humanitarian law as well as the Law of Armed Conflict

A representative of the deployment, the Senior National Officer of the group, stated that the contingent are honoured to be able to represent NZ and contribute to global efforts to train the Iraqi Security Forces.

"It has been very rewarding. The Iraqis are eager to learn and they are determined to fight for their country. We are grateful for the opportunity to teach them the skills that will help keep them alive when they go to the frontlines in the war against Daesh," he said.

They have been relieved by the second rotation, who arrived in Iraq on November 3 and will also stay for a six-month deployment at Taji Military Complex near Baghdad.

Interconnect Systems has a comprehensive background in aerospace and defence engineering, being an industry leader for more than 20 years. It provides electrical interconnect products and solutions, including cable and wire harness manufacture. For more information on the best backshells and cable harness solutions, contact Interconnect Systems today on 1800 812 214 FREE.

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