Another group of NATO Mission Iraq advisors and staff members is now ready for deployment. The Joint Force Training Centre has just concluded the 2023 second iteration of the NATO Mission Iraq Pre-Deployment Training. The event, held from 8 to 19 May, was delivered to over a hundred of military and civilian personnel who would soon deploy to Iraq.
The main goal of pre-deployment training is to provide the mission commander with cohesive, uniformly trained personnel, able to function effectively within a NATO-led mission from day one. A bespoke two-week NATO Mission Iraq Pre-Deployment Training programme is constantly adjusted to meet the ever-changing mission requirements. The training blends a virtual academic phase during the first week, with a residential practical phase during the other.
“This blended approach, that has its origins in the time of the pandemic, has been developed and refined. It provides you with the most up-to-date information, knowledge and skill sets, and, as a consequence, the highest quality support to the NATO Mission Iraq Commander”, said Major General Norbert Wagner, JFTC Commander to participants of the residential phase of the training. “I am sure that with your broad experience enhanced by this training, each and every one of you will add an important value to the mission.”
The first week of the training, conducted virtually, comprised briefings, self-paced learning modules and live chats that allowed the participants to develop their knowledge and understanding of the mission and its environment. During the residential phase, conducted at JFTC, the trainees practised their skills and benefited from the valuable experience of their predecessors and other experts, also in attendance, with in-depth knowledge derived from the mission.
The participants interacted with former and current members of the mission, to include Brigadier General Berry L. McCormick, the present NATO Mission Iraq Deputy Commander, who personally supported the event in Bydgoszcz. 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 also augmented the event by providing their expertise. Participation of role-players and interpreters added realism to the practical advisory training.
As strong teams are key to success of every mission, teambuilding was another key aspect of the residential phase. For the vast majority of participants, this was the first opportunity to meet their future comrades. Also, Brigadier General Nicola Piasente, the designated Chief of Staff of the mission, took part in the event and met with his future staff. Interactions participants were involved in Bydgoszcz built foundations for cooperation in the theatre and a smoother start once in Iraq.
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.