In Taji military base Iraqi military mechanical engineers are refining their skills as instructors for engineers working on Soviet-era fighting vehicles, thanks to a joint Iraqi-NATO training initiative which features Polish military trainers.
On the 25th of September 2017, Major General Hassan Hillel Al-Maliki, Director of Iraqi Maintenance (from the Iraqi Ministry of Defence) launched the training programme alongside Brigadier General Pierfranco Tria, NATO’s Senior Military Officer in Iraq. Addressing the trainees before an audience of distinguished guests, General Hassan Hillel Al-Maliki welcomed the opportunities for the Iraqi army and for the specially selected class.
Brigadier General Tria conveyed NATO’s thanks to Poland and the Training Team for taking on this role. He restressed the importance of well-maintained fighting vehicles for the sustainment of Iraq’s national security forces. Colonel Marcin Chruslinski, the Polish Defence Attaché in Baghdad, and Lieutenant Colonel Pawel Piecyk, commander of the Polish Training Team, thanked the Iraqi army for their warm welcome and the Counter-ISIL Coalition for their assistance.
This training programme has been carefully developed to meet Iraq’s needs. It is set to help reinstate a critical capability as the Iraqi army looks with confidence to the future.
NATO provides advice and assistance to Iraq in multiple areas, including counter-improvised explosive devices and demining, civil military planning, and reform of the security institutions. In-country training was launched in January 2017 when a NATO Core Team was deployed to Baghdad in order to facilitate NATO’s training and capacity building efforts for Iraq.