Between 9 and 20 October, over 150 soldiers and civilians from 28 NATO and Partner Nations worked hand in hand in support of the non-combat advisory and capacity-building NATO Mission Iraq (NMI). The third 2023 iteration of the pre-deployment training conducted by the Joint Force Training Centre has just concluded.
As strong teams are key to success of every mission, the main goal of the training was to provide the NMI Commander with cohesive, uniformly trained personnel, able to function effectively from day one of the mission. To achieve that goal, the bespoke NMI pre-deployment training event consisted of two phases, executed over two consecutive weeks. The first, virtual phase, conducted on-line, delivered foundational knowledge on the specifics of the mission and situation in Iraq, and provided training audience an opportunity to engage with key leaders from theatre through live chats. The second, residential phase, held at the Joint Force Training Centre in Bydgoszcz, Poland, built upon knowledge of the mission, allowed participants to put the acquired knowledge into practice and created environment for team building.
Major General Norbert Wagner, Joint Force Training Centre Commander, who officially closed the event, thanked all participants for their commitment and tremendous work during the training. He said, “I am convinced that you are well prepared, and the training you have just finished will help you in Iraq, will help the NATO mission and will help Iraq”.
General Wagner also thanked Subject Matters Experts, who arrived at JFTC directly from NMI Headquarters, as their first-hand expertise and up-to-date experience were invaluable for future NMI members. Through video teleconferences, the participants also met with leadership of the mission, to include Lieutenant General José Antonio Agüero Martínez, NMI Commander, Brigadier General Berry L. McCormick, his Deputy, Brigadier General Nicola Piasente, NMI Chief of Staff and all the NMI Divisions’ Directors.
Understanding Iraqi perspective is fundamental for future interactions with Iraqi counterparts and thus for achieving mission goals. Two high-ranking Iraqi military representatives arrived at Joint Force Training Centre to share their views with the participants and to support the training. During discussions, Rear Admiral Omar Jasim Mohammed Al-Sharooh, Liaison Officer to NMI and Ministerial Reform Sub-Committee Secretary, and Captain (Navy) Farqad Dherar Hussein Al-Alwani, Head of Training Activities Follow-Up Division in the Iraqi Military Training Directorate, talked about the Iraqi perspective on the mission, requirements and challenges. They also provided feedback to the participants during the practical activities.
The event would not have been successful if it had not been for the broad cooperation between various NATO commands and other bodies that supported the participants during their training. Experts from the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, the Joint Force Command Naples, NATO Security Force Assistance Centre of Excellence, NATO Communications and Information Agency and the U.S. Navy Reserve augmented the event by providing their expertise. Participation of Arabic-speaking role-players and interpreters added realism to the practical advisory training.
NATO Mission Iraq (NMI) is a non-combat advisory and capacity-building mission that assists Iraq in building more sustainable, transparent, inclusive and effective armed forces and security institutions, so that Iraqis themselves are better able to stabilise their country, fight terrorism and prevent the return of ISIS/Daesh. The mission was launched at the NATO Summit in Brussels in July 2018, following a request from the government of Iraq, and established in October 2018.
Learn more about the NATO Mission Iraq here.