From: Defence Media
Sent: Wed 15/04/2015 1:53 PM

Troops to Deploy to Iraq

The first group of Australian Defence Force personnel have departed from Brisbane following the Government’s decision to commit a military force to the international Building Partner Capacity (BPC) training mission in Iraq.

Approximately 300 Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel, primarily drawn from the Australian Army’s Brisbane-based 7th Brigade, will form a combined Task Group Taji alongside around 100 personnel from the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) as part of the international effort to combat the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist threat in Iraq.

Task Group Taji, will deploy under Operation OKRA with a training team as well as command, force protection and support elements.

The Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin said the Task Group began preparing for the BPC mission in March, following government approval.

“Our Australian personnel have worked closely with their New Zealand counterparts to form Task Group Taji.

“Together they have undertaken an extensive pre-deployment training schedule culminating in an intensive mission rehearsal exercise in southern Queensland.”

Task Group Taji will train Iraqi Army personnel from the individual soldier through to the brigade level. This training will increase the Iraqi Army’s capability and its ability to coordinate operations and fire support as well as improving logistic and intelligence functions.

“Although Australian personnel will deploy to the BPC mission in a non-combat role, Iraq remains a complex and dangerous environment and their pre-deployment training focused on replicating the challenging conditions the Task Group may face in Iraq.

“Task Group Taji is well prepared and ready to deploy,” Air Chief Marshal Binskin said.

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

Additional information on the Australian Army’s 7th Brigade is available at: http://army.gov.au/Who-we-are/Divisions-and-Brigades/Forces-Command/7th-Brigade

Media note:

The main contingent will depart in the coming weeks. Defence will advise media of any upcoming engagement opportunities. For operational security reasons Defence will not disclose the dates of deployment.

Imagery of the training will be available at: http://images.defence.gov.au/S20150911

Vision of the training will be fed to the Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery.


Media contact:
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999