Around 100 members of Task Group Taji Rotation 8 have touched down in Brisbane following their successful deployment to Iraq.
The returning personnel were welcomed back by Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds, who acknowledged the important role the Task Group had played for the past seven months, helping to train and develop the Iraqi security forces (ISF) alongside the New Zealand Defence Force and Singaporean Armed Forces.
“The latest rotation of the Task Group achieved significant milestones, working with Iraqi Army instructors to help train more than 6,000 soldiers from the ISF,” Minister Reynolds said.
“These soldiers will now go out into the provinces and significantly improve the ability of the ISF to secure and stabilise areas of Iraq liberated from Daesh.”
The Task Group enabled the opening of the Iraqi Army School of Infantry Non-Commissioned Officers II, with initial operating capability achieved ahead of schedule.
Outgoing Commander of Task Group Taji 8, Colonel Jason Groat, said the mission had made a critical contribution to the capability of the ISF.
“The achievement means the Iraqi School of Infantry now conducts more than 75 per cent of its training without the need for any coalition assistance,” COL Groat said.
“It’s an achievement we are all very proud of and we share in the success of the ISF.”
Task Group Taji 8 handed over responsibility to Task Group Taji Rotation 9 at a Transfer of Authority Parade at the Taji Military Complex on 24 June 2019.
Commander of Task Group Taji 9, Colonel Michael Bassingthwaighte, said the incoming ADF and NZDF personnel will work hard to build on the important work of Task Group Taji 8.
“All members of Task Group Taji 8 have done an excellent job in supporting the Iraqi School of Infantry to achieve initial operating capability,” COL Bassingthwaighte said.
For images of the handover, and activities carried out by Task Group Taji 8, please scroll through the image gallery above.