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NATO Names Canadian General to Head Alliance’s Iraq Mission

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Maj. Gen. Dany Fortin of the Canadian army will lead the new NATO mission in Iraq.

Alliance heads of state approved the NATO mission during July’s summit in Brussels.

The mission will continue NATO’s efforts to train Iraqi forces as they work to prevent a return of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or similar terror groups, alliance officials said.

“It is an honor and privilege to be designated as the commander of this NATO mission,” Fortin said in a written statement. “I am confident that our contribution will meet the expectations of Canadians, our allies and partners, and especially the population of Iraq as we seek to help their security institutions to ensure long-term peace and stability in Iraq.”

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Fortin will take command in the fall.

The noncombat mission will focus on training and bolstering the professionalism of Iraqi forces. It mission will consist of about 600 NATO personnel, with about 250 them from Canada.

‘Training the Trainers’

The NATO mission will advise Iraqi Defense Ministry officials and will train instructors through the “training the trainers” concept at Iraqi military schools and academies. NATO specialists will train personnel to counter improvised explosive devices and will work with Iraqi specialists on civil-military planning. NATO mechanics and logisticians will train Iraqis on armored vehicle maintenance, and NATO medics will work with Iraqi specialists on military medicine.

Fortin is currently the commander of the 1st Canadian Division Headquarters in Kingston, Ontario. His previous assignment was as deputy commanding general for operations at the U.S. 1st Corps at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.

(Follow Jim Garamone on Twitter: @GaramoneDoDNews)

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