Another rotation of future members and advisors of the non-combat advisory and capacity-building NATO Mission Iraq is ready for deployment. From 6 to 17 May, NATO Joint Force Training Centre executed the second 2024 iteration of the NATO Mission Iraq Pre-Deployment Training. Over 150 soldiers and civilians, who will soon augment the Allied mission in Iraq, conducted their final preparation.

“Over the past two weeks you have worked very hard. Thank you for this commitment. You received a lot of information and you also had an opportunity to interact with your leaders. (…) I am sure that with the preparation you received during the training, you will add significantly to the NATO Mission Iraq”, said Major General Norbert Wagner, the Joint Force Training Centre Commander, addressing the participants of the event during the closing ceremony on 17 May.

The main aim of the two-week training was to provide the NMI Commander with cohesive, uniformly trained personnel, able to function effectively from day one of the mission. During the first, virtual phase of the event, the participants received the necessary information on the specifics of the mission and situation in Iraq. They also engaged with the NMI key leaders through live chats, which allowed them to expand the knowledge gained during the earlier lectures and self-learning modules.

The second, residential phase, held at NATO Joint Force Training Centre in Bydgoszcz, Poland, built upon the knowledge of the mission and allowed participants to put the acquired knowledge into practice. The participants also met their future counterparts and leaders, to include Brigadier General Jose De Meer, future NMI Chief of Staff, who participated in the training together with his future staff members.

“The discussions with your future comrades and leaders that you have had over the last week provided you with a great opportunity to share experience and different views and thus to build cohesion and a strong team. This is really important”, General Wagner added.

Execution of such extensive and demanding training would not have been possible without support of experts with up-to-date experience. The JFTC training team, supported by Subject Matter Experts from the NATO Mission Iraq, the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, the Joint Force Command Naples, NATO Security Force Assistance Centre of Excellence, the U.S. Navy Reserve and NATO Communications and Information Agency, replicated the in-theatre environment, systems and processes to a maximum extent, to bring the trainees up to speed and to prepare them for their roles in NMI. Role players and interpreters, who supported the advisory sessions, also added realism to the practical part of the training.

The participants of the training will deploy to Iraq within the upcoming weeks and months. Some of them will come back to JFTC to support future iterations of the NMI pre-deployment training as Subject Matter Experts.