Baghdad deployment completes for Navy Medical Officer

This article has photo gallery Published on Department of Defence (author), SGT Joshua Powell (photographer)

Commander Task Group Taji 3 Colonel Andrew Lowe dismisses the parade marking the Transfer of Authority of the Task Group at the Taji Military Complex in Iraq.  (photo: SGT Joshua Powell)
Commander Task Group Taji 3 Colonel Andrew Lowe dismisses the parade marking the Transfer of Authority of the Task Group at the Taji Military Complex in Iraq.

Navy Medical Officer, Commander Ian Young, was among the 300 Australian Defence Force and 105 New Zealand Defence Force personnel from the second rotation of Task Group Taji which completed six months of active service in Iraq earlier this month.
 
The formal transfer of authority was conducted at a parade on 3 June, during which Commander Task Group Taji 2 Colonel Gavin Keating handed over to Commander Task Group Taji 3 Colonel Andrew Lowe.
 
New Zealand personnel from Rotation 2 left Iraq in May, while the final group of Australian personnel from Rotation 2 will have returned home this month.
 
The parade was held at the Taji Military Complex, 20 kilometres north of Baghdad, and was attended by dignitaries from Iraq, the United States and Australia.
 
Commander Young said he had deployed a number of times previously but this was the first time he had been involved in mounting a major hospital in a war zone.
 
“Being deployed in a coalition hospital was special, as was working in a tri-service environment,” Commander Young said.
 
“Thankfully, the workload has not been too high, which means there has not been a great deal of injuries to treat.”
 
Commanding General Coalition Joint Forces Land Component Command – Operation Inherent Resolve, United States Major General Gary Volesky addressed the parade, and praised the work of Colonel Keating and Task Group Taji 2.
 
“Your objective was to train the Iraqi Army to a higher standard and get them into the fight,” Major General Volesky said.
 
“Six months later, that’s exactly what your team has done. We won’t forget the contribution you have made. 
 
“You have played an important role in the history of Iraq and in the defeat of Daesh.”
 
Colonel Keating said teams had trained nearly 4,000 Iraqi soldiers and officers during the six-month deployment.
 
“We feel very privileged to have had this opportunity to work alongside the Iraqi Army and help enhance its ability to defeat Daesh,” Colonel Keating said.
 
“I am very proud of the efforts of all of the Task Group’s soldiers.”
 
The training includes weapons handling, building clearances and obstacle-breaching techniques, as well as training in the tactics, techniques and procedures for squad through to company-level operations for use in the fight against Daesh.