Today (9 May 2017) marks another important step in the consolidation of NATO’s support to Iraqi security institutions in strengthening their capabilities in the fight against terrorism. NATO trainers and advisors and Iraqi high ranking officers have concluded a three day-workshop designed to enhance Iraqi leadership and training skills in the domains of countering improvised explosive devices, explosive ordnance disposal, and demining.

Iraqi attendees included Generals from the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Interior, and the Counter-Terrorism Service.

The workshop provided the opportunity to strengthen the coordination between NATO experts and Iraqi Security Forces and to exchange views on the future outlook of the Iraqi security forces and institutions.

In January 2017, NATO deployed a Core Team to Baghdad. The Team includes eight civilian and military personnel. The Core Team provides advice to the Iraqi authorities and coordinates with the Global Coalition against ISIL and other stakeholders in Baghdad. Specialist training courses are delivered primarily by Mobile Training Teams (MTTs), provided by NATO Nations. These teams travel to Iraq, as required, to support specific training and capacity building activities agreed with the Iraqi authorities. These include the following: countering improvised explosive devices (C-IED), explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) and de-mining; civil-military planning in support of operations; civil emergency planning; training in military medicine; technical maintenance training on Soviet-era military equipment; and reform of the Iraqi security institutions.

NATO’s goal is to increase Iraq’s own training capacity in the medium and long term.