Iraq Government thanks New Zealand for training contribution – Brownlee

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New Zealand Defence Minister, Gerry Brownlee.

MIL OSI – Source: New Zealand Government – Iraq thanks NZ for training contribution

New Zealand Defence Minister, Gerry Brownlee.
New Zealand Defence Minister, Gerry Brownlee.

Senior Iraqi officials have conveyed thanks to Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee for New Zealand’s deployment of military personnel to help build the capacity of the Iraqi security forces.

Mr Brownlee has just left Iraq after visiting New Zealand personnel on the Building Partner Capacity mission in Taji.

“Our soldiers are in very high spirits,” Mr Brownlee says.

“They are highly professional and strongly committed to their mission, which is to provide training.

“Early indications are Iraqi trainees are responding and relating well to our trainers,” Mr Brownlee says.

During his visit Mr Brownlee also met Iraqi Defence Minister Khaled al-Obedih in Baghdad.

“Iraqi government and military commanders recognise our contribution to the Building Partner Capacity mission,” Mr Brownlee says.

“As in Afghanistan, Timor-Leste and other deployments, NZDF personnel are making a difference through the quality military training they are providing Iraqi security forces at Taji.”

Mr Brownlee was accompanied on his visit to Iraq by Major General Tim Gall, Commander Joint Forces New Zealand and Ambassador – Designate James Munro.

The Government has deployed up to 143 New Zealand Defence Force personnel to train Iraqi security forces so they can better counter the threat posed by ISIL [D’aesh]. The two-year deployment, with a review after nine months, supports the international coalition against D’aesh.

“New Zealanders can be very proud of the work our troops are doing to professionalise the Iraqi security forces,” Mr Brownlee says.

Details of the Minister’s trip were not released prior to his departure for reasons of operational security and safety.

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Selwyn Manning, BCS (Hons.) MCS (Hons.) is an investigative political journalist with 23 years media experience. He specializes in reportage and analysis of socioeconomics, politics, foreign affairs, and security/intelligence issues. Selwyn has extensive experience as a commentator and has provided live political analysis to a wide range of television and radio organizations broadcasting in New Zealand, Australia and globally including the BBC (Five Live, London) and BBC (World Service). He is currently a correspondent to Australia's FiveAA radio, and is a regular live-on-air panelist on Radio New Zealand's The Panel with broadcaster Jim Mora.

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