SOUTHWEST ASIA, June 16, 2020 —
“Task Force Dragon,” the Royal Danish Army contingent with Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve, concluded its Iraqi Border Guard training mission in Iraq, June 11, 2020 at Al Asad Air Base.
Since 2014, Task Force Dragon, of CJTF-OIR Task Force Iraq, has led the international Coalition’s effort to train more than 19,500 members of the Iraqi Border Guard Forces. This week, TF Dragon passed the torch to their Iraqi counterparts, who will continue to train their own forces to ensure the enduring defeat of Daesh.
“I am most proud that we managed to shift the training effort from direct training of the individual Iraqi Border Guard to ‘train-the-trainer’ mentoring, where Iraqis are training their fellow Iraqis,” said Royal Danish Army Lt. Col. Brian Busk, TF Dragon Commanding Officer. “I am also proud that the new method of training was developed in cooperation with the Iraqis, with their buy-in on the principles of how we make this training work.”
Since 2014, TF Dragon soldiers trained their Iraqi counterparts in functions such as basic infantry skills, check-point procedures, counter-improvised explosive device training, first aid, and marksmanship. Additionally, they mentored Border Guard members on developing future training courses. This helps ensure the Iraqis can continue to train up new forces, said Busk.
“It has impressed me to see how [the Iraqi Security Forces] make things work with sometimes limited resources, and I also appreciate their general willingness to learn new things,” he said. “It has been an honor to serve alongside all of them.”
In addition to the Border Guard training mission, TF Dragon also contributed Mobile Training Teams with Iraqi Army units at Besmaya and Taji.
“Task Force Dragon, like the rest of the Danish contingent, is a perfect example of why our Coalition has turned in such success against ISIS over these years,” said U.S. Army Col. Matt Brown, deputy commander of Task Force Iraq. “Great things happen when you gather the professional militaries from many nations and apply them to a clear and just mission.”
Denmark will continue to support the multinational Coalition by providing staff officers and planning support. The Coalition remains committed to enabling Iraqi security partner forces through high-level advising, intelligence sharing, and air support.
Denmark also remains committed to Iraq with a recent announcement from the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs to deploy approximately 285 troops to NATO Mission-Iraq.
“Danish leadership of NATO’s Mission in Iraq will strengthen the ability of Iraqi security forces to provide the country’s own security for the benefit of Iraq’s people,” Danish foreign minister Jeppe Kofod said in a statement. “By strengthening our contribution to stabilizing Iraq, we both reduce the risk of new refugee crises while increasing our protection against the threat posed by terrorist groups such as ISIS.”