Australian Defence Force reaches training milestone in Iraq

Operation OKRA
Iraqi Army soldiers on parade at the 53rd Brigade Iraqi Army graduation ceremony at the Taji Military Complex, Iraq. Source: Australian Defence Force

Since 2015 the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) have trained more than 26,000 soldiers.

Queensland based soldiers have finished training 1200 Iraqi Army personnel who recently graduated at the Taji Military Complex near Baghdad.

The soldiers are a part of the 53rd Brigade of the Iraqi Army, they spent 10 weeks in a training course designed to enhance their combat capabilities. 

The training courses included exercises such as; weapons handling, marksmanship, laws of armed conflict, explosive hazard awareness, combat first aid, urban operations, obstacle breaching, vehicle check points, leadership, explosive ordnance disposal and combined arms operations.



The Task Group Taji 5 provided the training to the Iraqi soldiers.

Commander Task Group Taji 5, Colonel Steve D’Arcy, who attended the graduation ceremony, said the event was a proud moment for the men and women of Task Group Taji and the Iraqi Army.

“I am particularly proud of the hard work and effort put in by all the members of the 53rd Brigade,” Colonel D’Arcy said.

“They have strived for excellence and should be justly proud of their achievements."
 
Task Group is a combined Australian and New Zealand task force of 300 ADF and 100 NZDF members deployed to Iraq as part of Operation OKRA.

The Australian contingent is mostly from Townsville’s 3rd Brigade.

Operation OKRA
Recent graduates from the 53rd Brigade Iraqi Army celebrate after their graduation ceremony at the Taji Military Complex, Iraq.
Australian Defence Force