From: Defence Media
Sent: Tue 21/04/2015 3:45 PM

Task Force Taji farewelled – 21 April 2015

Around 300 ADF members from Task Group Taji (TG Taji) were officially farewelled today by Prime Minister the Hon Tony Abbott, the leader of the opposition, The Hon Bill Shorten, the Minister for Defence, The Hon Kevin Andrews and the Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, AC.

Air Chief Marshal Binskin reminded the departing troops that the Iraqi Army had suffered tremendous loss over the past year. “You will need to respect these facts and work to build rapport, be empathetic, patient and professional––traits we have traditionally shown with each force we have trained in the past.

“This is what you have trained for and I am confident in your ability to do the job we have asked of you.”

The farewell event, at Gallipoli Barracks in Brisbane, was well supported by family and friends of the deploying members.

Chief of Army, Lieutenant General David Morrison, AO, said the troops have worked hard in the lead up to their deployment and are well prepared for challenges that may arise.

“Although Australian personnel will deploy to the Building Partner Capacity mission in a non-combat role, they are fully aware that Iraq is a complex and dangerous environment in which to operate,” Lieutenant General Morrison said.

“Australian soldiers are among the finest in the world. The men and women of Task Group Taji are well-skilled, well-prepared and well-equipped. We wish them all the best as they begin their mission, and importantly, we wish them a safe return to their families and friends.”

Commander 7th Brigade, Brigadier Adam Findlay, AM, whose troops make up the majority of the departing force, thanked the families and friends of the deploying personnel for their support.

“Today presented us with an opportunity to not only thank the soldiers for their dedication and commitment to the mission, but to recognise their families and the broader Brisbane community for their ongoing support,” he said.

Commander Task Group Taji, Colonel Matthew Galton, said that the aim of the mission is to enable regular Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) to take the fight to Daesh, to re-take and effectively hold that territory as well as to re-establish order in their own country.

“The Building Partner Capacity mission is all about training the regular Iraqi Security Forces and building their capacity to be able to defend their borders and restore their country’s sovereignty,” he said.

Task Group Taji will consist of a training team with command, force protection and support elements.

Training will focus on core operational skills including planning and conducting operations, basic manoeuvre and integration of intelligence into operations.

The Building Partner Capacity mission contributes to a broader international effort and Australia and New Zealand will join other nations who have already made commitments to train Iraqi forces, including the United States, Denmark, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway and Spain.

Media note: Imagery from the farewell event will be available later today at: http://images.defence.gov.au/S20151016

Vision will be fed to the Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery under general release arrangements.


Media contact:
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999